What are the implications for Central and Eastern Europe of this week’s two major agreements involving Chellomedia?
In the most practical sense, the deal between CBS and the Liberty Global-backed company, in which the former will take a 30% stake in the new venture, will see the disappearance of three extremely well known brands – Zone Romantica, Zone Reality and Club TV. In their place will come CBS Action, CBS Reality and CBS Drama respectively, along with changes in schedules, with content from CBS becoming much more prominent.
This is not the first time the two parties have signed an agreement – there was a similar one between Chellomedia and CBS Studios in the UK, leading to a 50/50 joint venture, as recently as 2009 – and this time round it will be hoped that the results will be similar. Indeed, since the rebranding of six channels in Chellomedia’s UK portfolio their ratings have shot up, in the case of CBS Action by as much as 257%.
Should the latest deal receive regulatory approval, we are likely to see the major rebranding take place in 83 territories, including several in Central and Eastern Europe, as soon as the fourth quarter of this year.
As for the second deal this week involving Chellomedia, namely with MGM Networks, its regional implications will only be seen in Poland. This is because it is one of only several markets in Europe – the others being Spain, Benelux and Turkey – in which Chellomedia has decided to acquire the MGM Networks channel business, which will continue to operate under the same brand.
Poland has also found itself under the spotlight this week due to reports involving another leading international content company.
In what is a surprise move, Turner has officially expressed interest in securing capacity on the country’s first DTT multiplex once it is freed up by TVP’s main channels. Should it succeed, it would be a major coup for the Time Warner subsidiary.