It’s been an extremely busy holiday period for media and telecom news stories across Central and Eastern Europe.
In Russia, where Christmas Day is in fact celebrated early this month, it was business as usual in late December. Tricolor, the country’s leading pay-TV operator, announced that the number of consumers of non-linear viewing of its online platform increased by 48% in the second half of the year. It also said that viewing of the platform was growing, especially on smart TVs and mobile devices, and the number of paying users had increased by 100% over the same period.
Meanwhile, Gazprom-Media announced that its subsidiary Central Partnership had signed a two-year agreement with Four Star Films, the largest distributor in the Middle East, and NTV-Plus, Russia’s longest-established DTH platform, said that it had added three more channels ¬– Fashion TV Network (FTV), Trace Sports Stars and Central Television – to its line-up.
Elsewhere, Hungary’s 4iG made the news in two countries, being, along with Crnogorski Telekom (CT) and MTel, one of three companies to secure a 5G licence in Montenegro and merging its Albanian operations One Telecommunications and ALBtelecom into a single company named ONE Albania.
In Poland, Viaplay Group and T-Mobile entered into a distribution partnership that will result in the latter’s Swap customers having free access to the streaming service until the end of February. After that, they will be able to add a Viaplay subscription to their package and access the Polish Formula 1 premier on Viaplay on March 5.
In Ukraine, inext announced the successful implementation of modern media players into the Telecommunications Kazakhstan network, while in the Baltics the Lithuanian operator Bite said it would merge its broadband internet subsidiary Mezon into the parent company later this year.
The holiday period saw two important appointments in the CEE region, with the highly experienced Linda Jensen becoming CEO of Antenna Group with immediate effect and Ralf Bartoliet the new CEO of the Bulgarian broadcaster bTV on January 1.
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