Ukraine’s broadcast industry is undergoing an important transformation.
Earlier this week its four leading media groups – 1+ 1 Media, StarLightMedia, Inter Media Group and Media Group Ukraine – encrypted their satellite-delivered TV channels in a move that was widely promoted and expected to provide a major boost for the pay-TV sector. It will be followed this Saturday, February 1, by the launch of a new premium sports channel named Futbol 3. Operated by Media Group Ukraine, it will join its existing channels Futbol 1 and 2 in offering viewers a wide range of content including matches from the premier football leagues in Spain, Italy, Germany, France and Belgium.
Quoting experts from the OTT/IPTV operator Divan.TV, the local publication Mediasat has suggested that the value of Ukraine’s OTT/ IPTV market could grow from $30 million to $400 million over the next five years. This will in large part be driven by the encryption that took place earlier this week, with an estimated 4 million – other sources put the figure at up to 4.5 million – DTH households no longer being able to watch up to 23 leading Ukrainian TV channels free of charge.
Divan.TV estimates that there are currently between 800,000 and 1 million subscribers to OTT/IPTV services in Ukraine, with ARPU being $3. These figures could grow to as much as 6 million and $5.5 respectively by 2023, though this will depend on such factors as national legislation and in particular the possible taxation of foreign on demand services.
Furthermore, up to 1 million viewers outside the country may be interested in receiving Ukrainian OTT services. This market, which Divan.TV is already serving, could be worth up to $90 million a year and provide ARPU of $7.
These changes have come alongside positive news from the DTH platform Viasat Ukraine, which recently reached the 100,000 subscriber-mark.