Alongside the appearance of local and international streaming services, we are currently seeing the launch and also closure of a growing number of TV channels across Central and Eastern Europe.
Take the Czech Republic, where the public broadcaster Ceska Televize (CT) has called time on its third and newest channel CT3. Launched during the pandemic in December 2020 with funds allocated to sports broadcasting, which was largely limited at that time, it targeted an older demographic with content mostly from CT’s archive and will close at the end of this month.
Interestingly, CT’s counterpart RTVS in neighbouring Slovakia has just closed a very similar channel named Trojka (‘Third’), which was initially sports-based before being re-launched in December 2019.
Meanwhile, in Romania the public broadcaster TVR has just relaunched a cultural channel, symbolically on the country’s Great Union Day on December 1, a decade after its closure.
Elsewhere, the Polish public broadcaster TVP relaunched its proprietary 4K channel ahead of the start of the Qatar World Cup late last month. Although overshadowed in terms of viewing figures by TVP’s other channels during the tournament, it has so far achieved audience shares of up to 0.8%. This is four times the share it had during Euro 2020.
TVP is also expected to launch a channel named Alfa TV, aimed at viewers aged 10-16, within a matter of weeks. Although initially distributed over the internet, it may in due course also be offered by cable networks.
In Russia, where several new services have appeared in the last few months, the country’s leading cable operator Tricolor launched a proprietary horror channel named Scream at the end of October.
Almost at the same time, United Media, which is part of United Group, launched three new cable channels ¬– Nova Max, Nova Series and Grand Nostalgia – in Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia & Herzegovina.
Looking ahead, more channel launches, and no doubt also a few closures, can be expected in the CEE region in 2023.
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