A newly released annual report by the Polish National Broadcasting Council (KRRiT) makes for interesting reading.
While very much focused on its activities in 2020, it also provides useful statistical information on the country’s electronic communications market as of last year.
Take TV channels. Although viewers could choose from a total of 522 offered by various broadcasters, those who opted for pay-TV could see an additional 210 Polish and foreign services provided in Polish. Publicly owned TVP produced no fewer than 32 channels, two of which were national (TVP1 and TVP2), 16 regional and one with regional programmes (TVP3). Alongside this were eight thematic channels, four aimed at viewers overseas and a HD version of TVP1.
Significantly, the report points out that while TVP had a combined audience share of 28.3% in 2020, placing it ahead of its main rivals Polsat (24.4%) and TVN Discovery (23.5%), it continued to fare less well in this regard than public broadcasters elsewhere in Europe. Figures for 2019, for instance, show that in Denmark, Germany and Finland the shares of public broadcasting viewing were 76%, 47.8% and 43.7% respectively. In 2020, Poland’s were comparable to those in the Czech Republic (30.2%), Ireland (27.9%) and Spain (23.7%).
It is also interesting to note that Poland has one of the richest FTA DTT offers anywhere in Europe, with viewers being able to watch 28 channels of various genres nationally free of charge. As of 2020, terrestrial TV’s share of viewing was 35.2%, with DTH claiming 36.4% and cable 28.4%.
The report also reveals that as of the end of last year there were a total on 126 VOD services provided by 89 entities in Poland. The regulator says that these entities had until March 31 to submit details of their services. Only 51, providing 117 services, complied with the deadline and seven were subsequently fined for their failure to do so.
A final interesting point is that in 2020 the regulator issued 22 new TV channel licences and three licence extensions. Half (11) of the new licences went to channels of a universal character and the remainder to thematic services.
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