Poland’s Polsat Plus Group features strongly in what is an otherwise quiet time of year on the Central and East European TV industry news front.
Two specific statistics in its most recent results, published on August 16, certainly raised a few eyebrows. The first was that the group as a whole had a net profit of only €17.1 million in the first half of this year, compared to €495.5 million in the corresponding period in 2022.
The second was that its pay-TV business, offered under the Polsat Box brand by Cyfrowy Polsat, the country’s leading operator, lost subscribers. As of June 30, the total number contracted to receive its services stood at 4,895,000, or 4.3% fewer than a year earlier.
Alongside the results and soon afterwards came some important announcements. The first, confirming earlier reports, was that the group will close its ad-funded streaming service Polsat Go at the end of this month. Instead, it will focus on its other streaming service Polsat Box Go, adding a new and what it says is unique package to its offer.
Known as Start, it will be available for a promotional price of PLN30 (€6.70) a year and offer viewers over 40,000 hours of series, reality shows, unique entertainment, as well as more than 20 channels from Telewizja Polsat.
Although Start will carry commercials, it will not be as ad-heavy as Polsat Go, which like Polsat Box Go was launched in August 2021 and replaced the service ipla.
Polsat has also announced a new promotion entitled “TV for up to 12 months without fees to start” which applies to all technologies, namely satellite, cable, IPTV and internet with a set-top box. It is also offering packages that include Disney+ and fibre-optic internet that could save customers over PLN1,000 a year.
The key takeaways are that Polsat is consolidating its streaming offer while at the same time trying to stem its pay-TV losses.
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