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The Warsaw Voice » Business » April 23, 2008
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April 23, 2008 By L.Ż.    
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New Offerings from MTV
A raft of new programs have appeared on MTV Polska, VH1, Viva Polska and Comedy Central, channels belonging to MTV Networks Polska.

Reality show MTV Cribs invites viewers into the homes of Polish showbiz stars while Pimp My Room shows viewers having their rooms redecorated to order. The next series of Re-kreacje will give viewers the opportunity to look like their favorite stars.

Viva Polska will shortly be introducing Fristajlo and Hot or Not. Fristajlo gives rappers Grupa Operacyjna free rein to satirize other programs like the Mango Teleshopping channel. Hot or Not will have judges interviewing hundreds of candidates to pick two who will become Viva presenters.

VH1 will be taking viewers on a sentimental journey back to the 1990s with 90/hour. The most important music, fashion and film events of the decade will all be there. The channel also has new episodes of its New Look fashion program in the offing. Host Joanna Horodyńska will be selecting the most stylish contestants.

Meanwhile, Comedy Central will soon be screening Stacked starring Pamela Anderson and The Office. Teachers, a British comedy-drama delving into the professional and private lives of young high school teachers, goes to air in May. The four-series program, made between 2001 and 2004, was nominated for the BAFTA awards, the British Comedy Awards and the Royal Television Society awards in Britain.

For Children From the BBC
The BBC's BAFTA award-winning children's program In the Night Garden made its Polish debut on BBC's CBeebies channel April 21. In the Night Garden is a new series from Teletubbies creators Ragdoll Productions. The series was filmed in High-Definition format in a forest setting and explores the fairytale world between waking and sleeping. Words, rhymes and music entice the viewer into a magical world of lovable characters, including Igglepiggle, Upsy Daisy and Makka Pakka.

CBeebies is targeted at children up to six years old. The channel was launched in Poland last December on Cyfrowy Polsat's DTH platform. CBeebies offers both new and classic children's programs from the BBC and independent producers. Programs are presently dubbed into Polish but original English language versions will be available from mid-April.

Cartoon Star on TVN7
Commercial channel TVN7is also offering new films and series but its main attraction is its new cartoon character Zed.

Zed pops up between advertising blocks to comment on the station's programs. He also appears in brief film clips like "Zed in the Wild West" and "Zed in the World of Terror". Zed's creator is painter, graphic designer and animated film-maker Andrzej Lichota.

TVP Entering Parliament
Public broadcaster TVP plans to launch a new specialty channel called TVP Parlament either late this year or early 2009.

The channel will broadcast live debates from both Poland's houses of parliament as well as proceedings of committees and press conferences held in the Polish and European parliaments. The channel will broadcast for 16 hours daily and will be available online and via satellite at no extra charge.

Europeans Online
The typical European will be spending 13.5 hours per week surfing the internet this year, one hour more than last year, according to Cetelem Bank, citing a European Interactive Advertising Association (EIAA) survey. Europeans will be spending an average of 15 hours online every week by 2010. Possible reasons for this include computers becoming more widespread and internet access becoming more available. In Britain, the average person already spends more time in front of the computer than the TV. This presents business with new opportunities for online shopping and advertising.

Cetelem polled 13 countries and found that 54 percent of computer users have dial-up internet access (at home and at work) while 13 percent have broadband access. The corresponding figures for Poland are 47 and 9 percent. Serbia and Russia are the only European countries whose internet access is way below average.

Online shopping is only just starting to take off in Europe although it has long been popular in Japan and the United States.

RTL Enters Russia
German media group RTL is entering the Russian cable television and satellite market in partnership with Luxembourg company CFG, which owns four television stations in Russia. They will form a joint-venture company called Content Union, to which CFG will contribute its television channels: Russkiy Illusion (Russian films) and Illusion Plus (foreign film classics), children's channel Detskiy and nature channel Zoo Park. Content Union has plans to produce other specialty channels for cable TV networks in Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Moldova and Georgia.

Since 2005 RTL has held a 30-percent share in Russian television network Ren TV, which will not be included in the new company.

Cyfrowy Polsat on WSE in April?
Poland's largest digital TV platform Cyfrowy Polsat may debut on the Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE) as early as April, according to Reuters news agency. Reuters reports that the float may fetch over 250 million euros. Cyfrowy Polsat chairman Dominik Libicki and owner Zygmunt Solorz have previously stated that any public listing would only involve a minority of the company's shares.

Cyfrowy Polsat is one of Central and Eastern Europe's largest digital TV platforms with more than 2 million subscribers.

Polsat Going Lifestyle: Report
Private TV station Polsat wants to transform its specialty channel Polsat Zdrowie i Uroda (Health and Beauty) into a lifestyle channel for women, according to an unnamed source on Wirtualnemedia.pl. This would place it head to head with the TVN Style channel.

The National Radio and Television Council recently granted Polsat a license to transmit Polsat 24 (news) along with two high-definition channels Polsat HD and Polsat Sport HD.
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