KabelKom makes play for younger aud with Z Plus

BUDAPEST — KabelKom Kft., the U.S.-owned cable provider that owns and transmits HBO Hungary, launches the musicvideo Z Plus network today in a bid to each the market’s affluent youth audience.

Transmitted via the same satellite uplink system that beams the Home Box Office family of pay TV and general cable networks to Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, Z Plus is a $4 million investment that reaches approximately 70 Hungarian “head ends” in its territory of about 1.9 million cable and 3.8 million total TV households.

Z Plus’ roster of local and international music programming represents the Hungarian cable industry’s second attempt to sustain a musicvideo network in this market after the demise of the Top TV music network last year. Given the strength of the youth market in Hungary, Z Plus’s backers believe the new network will be able to establish a niche for itself.

“There is a thriving market for Z Plus,” said Robert Leighton, HBO vice president for Central Europe, from his office in London. “This network targets Hungary’s hard-to-reach but increasingly affluent and upscale youth population,” Leighton said. “These people are Hungary’s breadwinners of tomorrow.”

Z Plus also allows KabelKom to target an audience that its other two Hungarian networks — the movie channel HBO Hungary and the documentary channel Spektrum — have been unable to reach.

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