On April 14, Broadband TV News will, along with Telenor Satellite Broadcasting, host its second business breakfast in the Romanian capital, Bucharest.
Much has happened in Romania’s TV industry since the first such event in June 2008. Despite the debilitating effects of the global economic crisis, it remains one of the most dynamic and competitive in the CEE region.
In the DTH sector, confident predictions that there would be consolidation have yet to come true: the marketplace is still managing to support five platforms, with the two largest (Digi TV and Dolce) claiming a combined subscriber total of almost 2 million.
Meanwhile in cable, UPC has rolled out such additional services as digital TV, HD and PVR. Just as importantly, it has managed to stem the significant subscriber losses it was experiencing less than two years ago.
RCS/RDS has meanwhile invested heavily in infrastructure. Despite some financial worries, highlighted last month by the postponement of a $200 million (€146.9 million) bond issue, it is well placed to maintain its position as Romania’s leading operator.
The incumbent telco Romtelecom has also made huge strides since June 2008. Last year, in particular, was highly significant for the OTE/Deutsche Telekom-backed company, which saw its Dolce subscriber total grow by 37.5% and also launched an IPTV platform.
Furthermore, it has begun to re-enter the cable market. Just last month, it was confirmed that its subsidiary Nextgen Communication is buying networks from a company named New Com that will take its subscriber total from a current 30,000 up to 100,000.
Romania now also has a strategy for the transition to digital broadcasting in place and should have its first two multiplexes up and running by the end of this year.
Competition between providers of subscription TV services is intense in Romania and is likely to remain so for the foreseeable future.
This, and a host of other issues, will be discussed at the April 14 business breakfast in Bucharest, full details of which will be announced shortly.