The autumn cable conference season is about to get under way in Central and Eastern Europe, with major events taking place in Hungary, Poland and Romania over the next few weeks.
Coincidentally, this year’s CTAM EuroSummit cable marketing conference is also taking place in the region, the two-day event starting today (September 23) in Budapest. While not focused on Central and Eastern Europe, the issues being discussed are certainly relevant to its cable industry.
Take 3D, for instance. Cable operators across CEE have already taken enthusiastically to HD and in several instances are offering their subscribers a large number of channels in the format. It can therefore be expected that in due course they will also aim to do so with 3D.
However, there are already problems on the horizon, with one of Europe’s leading operators (Portugal’s ZON) reporting that Hollywood majors and sports rights holders are trying to secure additional revenues from 3D. This may only be a temporary state of affairs, though it is undoubtedly a potential obstacle to the rollout of channels in the format.
Despite the international flavour of the CTAM EuroSummit, there was some ‘local’ input into the conference provided by Marcin Boroszko, the president of the board at the At Media Group. A leading broker of thematic channels and ad sales on thematic channels in Poland, it has addressed the dominance of terrestrial channels in the country’s TV market by creating an offer ‘selling’ cable and DTH channels to prospective advertisers. Known as At Max, its main goal is to “build the thematic channels (pay-TV) category on the ad market as an effective alterative to terrestrial channels”, with the main target being medium sized TV advertisers, followed by media agencies.
Other issues discussed on the first day included social media as a source for customer care and the importance of value added services such as VoIP, internet security and online gaming to reduce churn.
All are of as much relevance to cable in CEE as to the wider cable industry.