The Czech Republic has always been something of an outlier when it comes to paying for video services.
Yet while the take-up of VOD and pay-TV remains relatively low by regional standards – even compared to neighbouring Slovakia, a market with which it has much in common – things may slowly be starting to change.
Take paid-for on demand services like Netflix and HBO Go. According to data published by the Czech Statistical Office (CSU), they have been used by 15% of Czechs this year. Although a relatively low percentage, it’s a significant improvement on the 10.5% and more especially 3% in 2020 and 2019 respectively.
Atmedia, on the other hand, paints a slightly better picture. Its research shows that as of this month 28% of Czech TV viewers subscribed to at least one of the streaming services, and all told they were watched by almost 2 million Czechs. Furthermore, of those who opted for streaming services almost three-quarters (74%) chose Netflix and 34% HBO Go, with others selected being iPrima, Voyo and Apple TV+.
Although viewers on average paid for 1.44 such services, Atmedia points out that there is still considerable room for growth. In the UK and Northern Europe, for instance, 80% of households pay for VOD services and many do not hesitate to do so for 2-3 at the same time.
It will also be interesting to see if things improve following the appearance of more services including Disney+ and HBO Max, both of which are set to make their debuts in the country in 2022.
One of the main obstacles facing paid video services is the high quantity and indeed quality of free-to-view terrestrial TV services. Things are nevertheless changing, albeit slowly, with the latest research from ATO/Nielsen Admosphere showing that 45% of households received DVB-T2 services in Q3, compared to 45.7% in the two previous quarters.
While satellite gained and cable lost share over the same period, second placed IPTV continued to grow impressively, reaching 21.9% at the end of September.
Indeed, when it comes to IPTV Czech viewers already have a wealth of services to chose from. They include Lepsi TV, SledovaniTV, Skylink Live TV, O2TV, Digi2Go, TV Mobile TV and Vodafone TV.
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