Chris Dziadul looks at Romania’s Intact Media Group.
The news that Romania’s Intact Media Group (IMG) plans to launch a raft of new thematic channels next year will come as no surprise to most industry observers.
The group, which was founded by the entrepreneur, now politician Dan Voiculescu and is today headed by his daughter Camelia, is already one of the leading players in Romania’s media industry. In the print sector, its interests include the quality national daily Jurnalul National and sports newspaper Gazeta Sportorilor, and will from 2008 be joined by a new financial paper. Meanwhile in radio, it operates a commercial free music station named Romantic FM and will soon officially launch News FM, a breaking news station targeting metropolitan parts of the country.
Yet it is in the TV sector where IMG is particularly strong and looks set to focus much of its efforts in the next few months. Is flagship channel Antena 1 is one of the longest-established commercial services in Romania, having made its debut even before CME-backed Pro TV. Antena 1’s primetime audience share – according to data supplied by the channel – in the year to date is 15.3%, making it the next most watched service after Pro TV.
In addition to Antena 1, IMG operates three thematic channels (Antena 2, 3 and 4) and an international service (Antena 5), all of which have been launched in the last two years. By this time next year, however, its portfolio will have almost doubled to nine channels.
IMG in addition owns a production company named Intact Production and aims to allocate around 60% of airtime on the four new channels it plans to launch in 2008 to local productions. It would also like to enter into a partnership with a Romanian mobile company, supplying content for future mobile TV services.
Although IMG undoubtedly has its work cut out in one of the region’s most competitive markets, its future – certainly in the TV industry – looks promising.