It’s not often you get a press release peddling a lie in our business.
Sure, it may be badly written and wrongly targeted. But by and large it aims to be truthful, despite giving a subjective angle on a potential story.
Which is why what is likely to be remembered as the great Polish DTH platform hoax is such a mystery. Late last week the Polish media received a release from a hitherto unknown company named Celesat Multistream Vision announcing its plans to launch a DTH platform in the country by the end of the year. It included quotes from executives, along with details of the proprietary channels, all in HD, which would form the backbone of its offer.
The release certainly did its job, being carried by the local press and international media such as Broadband TV News. But then people started to smell a rat: how come no one had heard of this Cypriot-registered company, and indeed its executives, before? Some asked us and other publications for more details. Others decided to do their own research.
One week on, the general view is that we were all probably subjected to a hoax. An elaborate one, perhaps, but probably a hoax all the same. And for that reason we, like other publications, have to apologise to our readers.
However, there’s no smoke without fire and there’s certainly change in the air in Poland’s DTH sector. Industry sources have informed us there are at least two parties currently interested in launching DTH platforms in the country. Our take is that one of those parties is probably Deutsche Telekom, bearing in mind that they already operate satellite services through subsidiaries in a number of CEE countries.
Some form of consolidation is also looking increasingly likely, though who may buy whom remains just speculation.
What is certain, however, is that the sector is fast approaching saturation point in terms of subscriber numbers and that in the medium to long term cannot support so many platforms.
Celesat is probably best forgotten, but change is certainly coming.