According to Lukas Kubat, Prima Group’s director of strategy, “we are the first in the market to demand IPTV operators limit the fast-forwarding of advertising, even though this topic has been on the table for many years. The situation with the skipping of advertising has gradually become unbearable for us as in commercial television. The fact that the replay of programmes, and the associated skipping of advertising, is becoming increasingly popular also plays a significant role in our decision. Because of this, we lose up to CZK300 million a year, which we could retrospectively invest in the production of other programmes. We realise that the whole implementation process is challenging for all parties, we tried to listen to the operators and allow their customers to offer variants with significantly less advertising”.
He added: “We appreciate the operators understood the reasons for our step over time and brought us constructive questions and suggestions when implementing the project. As part of the implementation, most operators found a technical solution that would allow their customers to track only half the volume of backtracking advertising compared to live broadcasts”.
Prima notes that SledovaniTV.cz, which is received in over 250,000 households, is one of the first operators to prepare for the changes and implement their own solutions that will improve the user experience. Its sales director Michal Jura said: “Although we’re not thrilled with the obligation to implement ad skipping restrictions and know that this is an interference with viewer comfort, we’ve tried to design the feature so that users can still fully enjoy playback. At the same time, they will be able to buy an additional package “Prima without ads” for a monthly fee, which will allow them to skip ads automatically when tracking back”.
In a related development, O2 TV will change the order of TV channels on its EPG, moving up Nova channels and lowering those of Prima on June 1. According to O2 TV, this follows a new commercial agreement with Nova. O2 TV also notes “given the strict requirements of FTV Prima, we had no choice but to completely remove the forward scrolling function on its channels”.