PPF Group’s 2022 annual report provides some useful insights into the company’s strategy and ambitions in the media and telecoms sectors.
In a wide-ranging interview, Didier Stoessel, chief investment officer, PPF Group CEO, CME, speaks of its family ownership as one of its greatest assets. This means it has “patient capital” and is under no pressure to sell or invest in a given year if no opportunities present themselves.
He goes on to talk about the changing dynamics of the market. These include the inescapable fact that live linear TV consumption is declining everywhere, though more so in Western Europe than the group’s CEE markets, albeit from a high baseline.
In the Czech Republic, for instance, people still consume around 3.5 hours of live TV daily, with approximately 20% of those hours being viewed with a delay. Meanwhile, the on demand service Voyo, which is operated by the group’s subsidiary Central European Media Enterprises (CME), is watched two hours a day by its subscribers and “confirms my strong belief that video consumption is a growth industry and one on which CME – with TV channels, delayed viewing services and streaming services – has a very strong position”.
Stoessel then goes on to say that CME is accelerating the development of time-delayed viewing and a new AVOD service. Just as importantly, it is developing what will be a portfolio of niche FAST channels, including ones featuring romance stories, that will be streamed live on the internet.
The report also looks at the development of CETIN, a wholesale provider of telecom infrastructure services for fixed and mobile networks in Central and South-Eastern Europe, as well as consumer focused Yettel. According to Balesh Sharma, CEO PPF Telecom Group, the latter will be rolling out TV services in Bulgaria and Slovakia, having already introduced them in Serbia, where Yettel is only one of two quad play companies, and – earlier this year – Hungary.
Significantly, the report also mentions PPF Group’s first foray into the West European TV market through its investment in ProSiebenSat1. Media. “Steeped in tradition and offering considerable potential”, the German company “will slot perfectly into our media portfolio”.
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