Czech Republic: Counterprogramming creates booming biz, with ad rates on the rise

The Czech television market has rarely been in such good shape.

Business grew by 3%, or 17.7 billion crowns, in 2005 and the country’s two terrestrials are now poised to raise ad rates dramatically. Both also expect a tidy windfall from a regulatory ban on commercials for pubcaster Czech TV as it’s phased in this year.

Key to Nova’s success — it has all 10 of the Czech Republic’s top-rated shows — says program director David Stogel, is what his boss Michael Garin calls counterprogramming. Aside from news, films or one-offs (in which Nova also leads), the toppers are all original scripted dramas, some of which go up against reality show-based fare on competing terrestrial Prima TV.

Prima beat Nova for the first time last fall with “Big Brother” knockoff “The Chosen” — it led Nova’s authentic “Big Brother,” in fact, an expensive franchise that won’t be returning “any time soon,” says Stogel — but Nova has pulled way out front with shows such as “Living Space.” The character-driven neighborhood drama has scored top series with 46% aud share or 2.2 million viewers, not bad in a country of 10.2 million.

Nova’s “Practice in the Rose Garden,” a serial set in a doctor’s clinic, and “You Wouldn’t Believe It,” which revives a formula from before the 1989 Velvet Revolution that dramatizes real-life tales submitted by auds, follow close behind.

Prima topper Martin Dvorak is not conceding defeat, having just signed the station’s biggest-ever deal to acquire a slate of films, series and animation.

Nova hasn’t forsaken acquisitions either, with “CSI” scoring aud share of 50% in key groups and running against Prima’s second season of “The Chosen,” with “Columbo” doing surprisingly well.

But Stogel says he will be “highly selective” during Mip, perhaps eyeing docus, docu-soaps or reality-entertainment genres because the station already has one of the largest archives in Central Europe.

1. “Living Space,” TV Nova

2. “Practice in the Rose Garden,” TV Nova

3. “You Wouldn’t Believe It,” TV Nova

More Scene

  • Constance Wu, Jimmy O. Yang. Constance

    Emmys 2018: What You Didn't See on TV

    The Czech television market has rarely been in such good shape. Business grew by 3%, or 17.7 billion crowns, in 2005 and the country’s two terrestrials are now poised to raise ad rates dramatically. Both also expect a tidy windfall from a regulatory ban on commercials for pubcaster Czech TV as it’s phased in this […]

  • Ever Carradine, Madeline Brewer and Chrissy

    Emmys 2018: Inside All the Post-Show Parties

    The Czech television market has rarely been in such good shape. Business grew by 3%, or 17.7 billion crowns, in 2005 and the country’s two terrestrials are now poised to raise ad rates dramatically. Both also expect a tidy windfall from a regulatory ban on commercials for pubcaster Czech TV as it’s phased in this […]

  • House With a Clock in Its

    Cate Blanchett Would Love a Job on Television

    The Czech television market has rarely been in such good shape. Business grew by 3%, or 17.7 billion crowns, in 2005 and the country’s two terrestrials are now poised to raise ad rates dramatically. Both also expect a tidy windfall from a regulatory ban on commercials for pubcaster Czech TV as it’s phased in this […]

  • Director Joe Russo, right, chef Jessica

    Avengers, 'Community' Stars Assemble to Welcome Joe Russo's New Restaurant Simone

    The Czech television market has rarely been in such good shape. Business grew by 3%, or 17.7 billion crowns, in 2005 and the country’s two terrestrials are now poised to raise ad rates dramatically. Both also expect a tidy windfall from a regulatory ban on commercials for pubcaster Czech TV as it’s phased in this […]

  • emmys John Leguizamo72nd Annual Tony Awards,

    John Leguizamo on Hollywood's Future: No More 'Bad Boys Club Behavior'

    The Czech television market has rarely been in such good shape. Business grew by 3%, or 17.7 billion crowns, in 2005 and the country’s two terrestrials are now poised to raise ad rates dramatically. Both also expect a tidy windfall from a regulatory ban on commercials for pubcaster Czech TV as it’s phased in this […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content