×

Czech Republic

Opening the digital floodgates

BUDAPEST — As one of the first territories to embrace commercial terrestrial television, the Czech Republic is in the grips of the same digital revolution that is transforming the broadcast industries across Central and Eastern Europe from Budapest to Moscow.

Nearly one in four Czech TV households is geared to receive digital services such as DVB-S, IPTV, DTT and DVB-C. The industry expects digital reach to cover half of the Czech territory by the end of 2008 and grow to 70% of the market next year.

Three digital companies, including the regional powerhouse UPC, serve the country, and the upshot will be an explosion in both channels and demand for content. Like elsewhere in the region, some digital channels will embrace specialty programming, and new buyers at Mipcom may show interest in formats ranging from current affairs to travel.

TV Nova, the territory’s top-rated network, owned by Central European Media Enterprises (CME), is extending its reach. Having purchased the rights to develop a Czech version of MTV, Nova is adding a music cable-and-satellite channel to its empire, which already includes dedicated movie channel Nova Cinema and sports channel Galaxie Sport, soon to be renamed Nova Sport.

It is also going digital. Nova is already broadcasting digitally to half the market and is allowed by law to launch one additional digital channel. And with Nova executives publicly lobbying for a change in the law to permit more “compensatory licenses,” Nova’s digital universe may expand even more.

Nova’s chief commercial rival, Prima TV, 50% owned by Sweden’s Modern Times Group, is also going digital. And the digital revolution is encouraging other media players, namely the film industry, to enter the broadcast fray. Prague’s Barrandov Studio, the territory’s oldest and largest studio complex, will reportedly launch digital network TV Barrandov early next year.

Instead of low-cost specialized programming, TV Barrandov appears prepared to launch a general-entertainment network that will take on TV Nova and Prima TV.

Offering discounts to advertisers, the new channel hopes to attract a young, hip audience as well as a sizeable portion of the Czech TV ad spend, which grew by 4% in August across the market. No doubt this means the fledgling web will be looking to build a programming slate of international hit series and dramas, as well as first-release movies.

TOP 3

“Clinic in the Rose Garden” (TV Nova)

“Kriminalka Andel” (TV Nova)

“Dr. House” (TV Nova)

More Scene

  • DF-10956_R – Gwilym Lee (Brian May) and

    'Bohemian Rhapsody' Producer Confirms Bryan Singer's Reason for Leaving, Says 'No One' Was Attached to Play Mercury

    “Bohemian Rhapsody” producer Graham King provided insight into some of the events surrounding the Golden Globe-winning film Saturday at the Producers Guild Awards Nominees Breakfast, including director Bryan Singer’s departure from the film partway through production. “It’s an unfortunate situation, with like 16, 17 days to go and Bryan Singer just had some issues, his [...]

  • Mj Rodriguez, Nico Santos to Announce

    Mj Rodriguez, Nico Santos to Announce GLAAD Media Award Nominations

    Mj Rodriguez and Nico Santos are set to announce the nominees for the 30th annual GLAAD Media Awards. The “Pose” star and “Crazy Rich Asians” funny man will make the announcement during a live-stream hosted by AT&T and from the AT&T Hello Lounge at the Sundance Film Festival on Friday, Jan. 25. “The images and stories recognized [...]

  • Emile Hirsch, Matt SmileyEmile Hirsch hosts

    Emile Hirsch Hosts Smiley Face Art Opening at Mondrian Hotel

    Despite the rain on Wednesday night in West Hollywood, there were plenty of smiles inside the Mondrian hotel thanks to artist Matt Smiley‘s Refresh exhibition. Not only is Smiley his real last name, but several of his paintings and other pieces in the exhibit feature smiley faces. “I’ve seen more smiley symbolism lately, and I’ve [...]

  • Randall Park, left, and Constance Wu

    Constance Wu Wants Her 'Fresh Off the Boat' Co-Star Randall Park to Host the Oscars

    While the Academy may have decided to go hostless for this year’s Oscars, that doesn’t mean the rest of Hollywood has stopped thinking about who would be a good choice for the emceeing gig. Former host Whoopi Goldberg recently suggested Ken Jeong. Jeong said, when he was a guest on “The View,” Goldberg told him [...]

  • 'Schitt's Creek' Stars Reveal Dream Guest

    'Schitt's Creek' Cast Reveals Dream Guest Stars: Oprah, Beyonce and ...

    “Schitt’s Creek” has big dreams. Dan Levy, who stars as David on the series, says his wish list of guest stars includes Oprah, Beyonce, Mariah Carey and Gwyneth Paltrow. “All for different reasons, none of whom we’ll get,” he cracked at the Critics’ Choice Awards. For those who haven’t caught on to the “Schitt’s Creek” [...]

  • Barbra Streisand and Gisele Bundchen

    Barbra Streisand and Gisele Bündchen to Be Honored at UCLA Science Gala

    Science can be very glamorous. It certainly will be during Oscar week on Feb. 21 when the UCLA Institute of the Environment & Sustainability (IoES) honors Barbra Streisand and Gisele Bündchen for environmental activism at its annual Hollywood for Science Gala. “When I moved to LA, the air was unbreathable. Rivers were catching fire in [...]

  • Don Cheadle and Andrew Rannells Black

    Don Cheadle, Andrew Rannells Talk Snorting 'Coke' on 'Black Monday'

    “Black Monday” show creators David Caspe and Jordan Cahen divulged an intriguing detail to come later in the first season of the new Showtime comedy at its world premiere, held at the Theatre at Ace Hotel on Monday night in Los Angeles. “The fourth or fifth episode opens with a sexual harassment seminar, which very well [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content