PPF Group’s long-term strategy is likely to have a major impact on the TV industry in the Czech Republic.
That, at least, is the view of M7 Group board member Jaromir Glisnik. Speaking in a wide-ranging interview with Cesky Rozhlas, the contents of which were supplied to Broadband TV News earlier this week, he said PPF Group’s acquisition of TV Nova will lead to the creation of a “very powerful conglomerate” once the broadcaster is linked with the incumbent telco O2, which the group has already owned for several years. A major producer and distributor of content, it will have no equal anywhere in Europe, with the possible exception of Sky.
As a result, other players in the Czech Republic, including M7 Group’s Skylink, now owned by Canal+, will have to keep a close eye on the situation. It will have the potential to bring about “radical changes” in the market.
However, these changes are arguably already well underway following the take-over of M7 Group (Skylink and Freesat) by Canal+ and Liberty Global’s UPC Czech by Vodafone. Many industry sources now also believe that T-Mobile will acquire its competitor Digi TV later this year.
Another major change could be the appearance of paid terrestrial TV services. The Czech Republic is in the final stages of the transition to the DVB-T2 standard and in Glisnik’s view there will be a “window of opportunity” in the next four to five years, though not sooner. Moreover, there is already a potential market for such services, with almost half of Czech households watching only terrestrial TV.
Glisnik also spoke at some length about future plans for the internet service Skylink Live TV. These include the addition of more advanced features and content, some of which could be in 4K. Skylink may in the long term also follow the same route as Canal+ in France, which integrates Netflix into its boxes and services.