Close to the Hilton Sofia, where I spent part of my week there is a tall building that sports a logo for Fox International Channels. You can see it from quite a distance away and is very much a Bulgarian thing; there were others around for Vivacom and Samsung.
Fox announced this week that its FOX Channel has reached 200 million households worldwide, and that’s before you add in the US domestic figures that take it to 330 million.
The development of the channel has been breathtaking, helped by some fast decision making. It wasn’t that long ago I was collecting my FOX Crime T-shirt from the Norwegian Cable TV conference. That channel, like FX in the UK, was rebranded as FOX Channel.
Looking across the other European brands we are witnessing some major changes; ones that at first glance might not be taken on board.
But in 12 months time Discovery Channel is likely to become a 51% shareholder in Eurosport and that will sit with its ownership of the SBS brands in the Nordic region.
There have also been closures: the effective departure of ESPN from Europe has met with disappointment with US sports fans hunting through their EPGs for a home run. It is of course classic low audience behaviour. If there was a business model, ESPN would have stayed.
Another departure has been the Dutch feed of TCM (Turner Classic Movies). And these are the ones that get reported, there are smaller deals and closures on an almost weekly basis that we nor anyone else would report.
TV viewing continues to rise, but VOD is slowly giving us new things to watch, and from new sources.