What can we expect to happen in the TV industry in Central and Eastern Europe in 2017?
The first market we should arguably keep a close eye on is Russia. An improvement in relations with the US, under a Trump presidency, could make it more appealing for foreign media companies to operate in.
While we are highly unlikely to see a return to the almost free-for-all situation of the 1990s, it could become easier for all concerned.
More generally, we can expect more M&As throughout the region. In Poland, Liberty Global should see its acquisition of Multimedia Polska approved by the competition authorities, probably with less fuss than the Aster deal a few years ago.
Elsewhere, consolidation in the cable and DTH sectors will almost certainly continue. While most deals will be small scale, there is certainly potential for a major one. Indeed, some may argue it is now overdue.
The launch of Amazon Prime throughout the region in December 2016, as part of a global expansion mirroring that of Netflix at the start of this year, sets up things nicely for the on demand sector in 2017.
For Netflix, the way forward will have to be localisation and more local partnerships. In that respect it has already made the most progress to date in Poland, and some other markets in region will surely follow next year.
We can expect numerous more channel launches in CEE in 2017, with many of them being in the HD format. Indeed, the latter is now as commonly accepted as in Western Europe, with most large cable, DTH and IPTV platforms offering their customers dozens of channels.
As for 4k, well these are still early days, but adoption will no doubt pick up.
Unfortunately, on the minus side, the problems, financial and otherwise, being faced by some public broadcasters in the region will almost certainly continue into 2017.