The latest Polish Chamber of Electronic Communication (PIKE) international conference and exhibition will take place against the backdrop of a TV industry that is changing at breakneck speed.
It’s hard to believe that in the last 12 months Poland has seen – in no particular order – the launch of three DTH platforms (a new and recently revamped service operated by the incumbent telco TP and one by the public broadcaster TVP) and both DTT and mobile TV platforms.
At the same time, its cable market has remained relatively buoyant despite strong competition from no fewer than five DTH platforms, the three largest of which (Cyfrowy Polsat, Cyfra+ and n) have a combined subscriber total approaching 5 million.
Perhaps the most encouraging sign for cable is the rapid take-up of digital TV services. As of Q2 this year, PIKE estimated that there were already 627,900 digital cable homes in the country, with Vectra claiming 35% (220,000) of the total and UPC 25.5% (160,400).
However, the figure has now been revised upwards to 750,000 and it is probably a good bet that it could exceed one million by the end of the year in a market in which the majority of cable homes at present (4.6 million) are still analogue.
Change in Poland’s cable industry is being driven principally by its four leading operators UPC, Vectra, Multimedia Polska and Aster, all of which offer digital TV, HDTV and either have or will shortly introduce such additional services as VOD and ultra-fast internet access.
However, the industry faces many challenges, chief of which are arguably financial. Although Poland has escaped the worst effects of the global economic crisis, maintaining the levels of investment required to take the industry forward is undoubtedly proving to be a challenge.
The latest PIKE event, which will be held in Ossa near the capital, Warsaw, on October 18-21, will take on added significance in that it will mark the 20th anniversary of cable in Poland. Much has happened since the heady days of 1989, and a long and interesting future lies ahead.
For further details, please go to: www.pike.pl