December 15, 2023
Change at the top for Hrvatski Telekom
Kostas Nebis, the president of the management board and CEO at Hrvatski Telekom (HT), will leave the company at the end of June 2024. He will continue his career with the Deutsche Telekom Group, assuming the position of chairman and CEO of OTE Group in Greece on July 1. Nebis will replace Michael Tsamaz, who has decided to step down. Meanwhile, Natasa Rapaic will assume Nebis’s current role at HT on July 1.
TVP’s future under consideration
Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal (Trybunal Konstytucyjny) will hold a hearing on January 16 on whether to liquidate the public broadcaster TVP and its radio counterpart. It does not favour acting against the broadcaster and the hearing will come at the request of the Law and Justice Party (PiS), which is now in opposition after having failed to secure a working majority in the General Election in October.
Kyivstar hit by cyberattack
The Ukrainian operator Kyivstar is recovering from a massive cyberattack earlier this week. Blamed on Russian hackers, it interrupted mobile and internet services for its 24 million subscribers. Significantly, whilst the cyberattack was being tackled, Kyivstar opened up access to the TV channels on its OTT platform to non-registered users.
More channels for RTL Hungary
RTL Hungary has confirmed it will launch four new thematic TV channels this Friday (December 15). Known as Kölyökklub, Moziklub, Sorozatklub and RTL OTTHON, they will initially be distributed by the operators Direct One, PR Telecom, Vidanet and Yettel.
Paramount channels debut in Ukraine
Paramount Global has launched localised versions of Nick Jr. and Nicktoons in Ukraine in collaboration with 1+1Media. Both channels are available on a wide range of platforms including OTT, the satellite operator Viasat and cable networks. To make their launch possible, Paramount Global has translated and dubbed over 47,000 hours of content in collaboration with Ukrainian talent.
New investor for Slovak telco Swan
The pan-European infrastructure investor Marguerite has agreed to acquire a substantial minority stake in the Slovak telco SWAN via a capital increase of €50 million. Closing is expected in Q1 2024, subject to clearance by the Slovak competition authority, and Marguerite has the option to increase its commitment and stake in the telco.
Digi to sell FTTH net
Romanian-owned Digi is reportedly preparing to sell its Smart FTTH network in Spain for €1 billion. The prospective buyers are the investment funds Macquarie Capital, Aberdeen Standard Investments, Daiwa Energy & Infrastructure and Arjun Infrastructure Partners and Arjun Infrastructure Partners, the owners of Onivia. Digi needs the funds to pay for assets it will buy from MásMóvil and Orange to facilitate their merger.
Slovak pubcaster funding cut protest
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and other press and journalists’ organisations have asked Slovakia’s parliament and president to reject government-approved cuts to the public broadcaster’s funding by 30%. In an open letter, they say that this and “the poorly justified plan” to split RTVS into separate radio and TV companies risk undermining the public media’s independence. Should the cuts go ahead, RTVS’s annual funding from the state for 2024 will be reduced from €186 million (0.17% of GDP) to €131 million (0.12% of GDP).
Digi makes progress in Spain and Portugal
The merger of Orange and MásMóvil in Spain has moved a step closer following an agreement by Romania’s Digi to buy spectrum licences from the latter. Digi has also secured the option to enter into a national roaming service agreement with Orange. Meanwhile in Portugal, Digi has entered into an agreement with Vodafone giving it spectrum usage rights to two frequency bands.
Vectra to compensate subscribers
Poland’s leading cable operator Vectra has been ordered to compensate subscribers for automatically activating and charging for additional services without prior consent. According to the competition authority UOKiK, those who were provided with the ‘Safe Internet” service could receive refunds of up to PLN165.60 (€38.20) for 24 payments plus up to PLN34.50 for the first five invoices.
Major expansion for Apple TV+
Subscribers to Canal+’s Skylink in the Czech Republic and Slovakia will be able to receive the streaming service Apple TV+ from February 2024. Apple TV+ will also be made available on Canal+ and freeSAT.
Thema brings Korean dramas to Poland
Canal+’s Thema has announced its first launch of Korean dramas in Poland with T-Mobile. Now and over the next few months, 13 series will be added to the T-Mobile SVOD offer and made available to all its subscribers. They include Innocent Defendant and Taxi Driver, two highly successful titles from SBS.
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© Chris Dziadul, 2023