Chris Dziadul looks at the first 10 years of Poland’s TVN
Next week will probably see the launch of the latest TVN thematic service, a business channel produced jointly with CNBC.
The Polish commercial broadcaster has come a long way since entering what was already a vibrant marketplace in late 1997. Initially a joint venture between CME and ITI Group, and subsequently one between SBS Broadcasting and ITI Group before being completely taken over by the latter, it has not only added a string of new channels to its offer but also launched n, the country’s first new generation DTH platform.
Although TVN has been unable to overhaul its archrival Polsat in terms of viewing figures for their respective flagship channels, the combined share of all TVN-branded services is growing. In July, they claimed 20.4%, as opposed to 18.4% a year earlier, while the primetime figure was 22.7% (20.6%). News-based TVN24, in particular, is a big success story, its 2.8% share in July making it the most watched thematic channel in Poland by a long chalk.
TVN CNBC Biznes will enter a market already served by TV Biznes, which was bought by Polsat in February this year for a reported PLN20-25 million (€5.2-6.5 million). TVN Religia, a religious channel due to make its debut on September 15, will meanwhile go head to head with TV Trwam, which is owned by the Lux Veritatis foundation. While both will undoubtedly make an impression on the marketplace, so, too, will a local channel serving Warsaw that TVN plans to launch in the near future.
TVN also has its sights set beyond Poland and is understood to have been looking at the market in Ukraine for some time. Furthermore, like Polsat it may in due course try to seek out a strategic foreign investor.
TVN’s first 10 years have certainly been eventful and its future promises to be even more so.