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The Warsaw Voice » Business » January 21, 2009
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Media in brief
January 21, 2009   
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TV Advertising Pays
Polish TV stations earned a whopping zl.11.6 billion from advertising during 2008, more than 20 percent up on the previous year, according to AGB Nielsen Media Research. Some of the increase, however, can be put down to there simply being more TV stations.

Commercial broadcaster TVN came in first, accounting for zl.2.8 billion. These figures, however, do not consider discounts, which can be as high as 40 percent on some channels.

Layoffs at Agora
Leading Polish media corporation Agora has decided to cut staff to improve its operating efficiency. Agora, best known for publishing Poland's most popular daily newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza, says it will lay off up to 300 staff, or about 7.5 percent of its work force, between now and July 31. The corporation is setting aside around zl.8.5 million to cover the costs of the plan, which, according to a company announcement, is designed to help Agora through an impending economic downturn resulting from the international financial crisis.

Cyfrowy Polsat On Top
Cyfrowy Polsat, Poland's largest digital television service provider, had 3 million customers on the books at the end of last year. Of these, 2.73 million are direct subscribers, while the remaining 300,000 have Cyfrowy Polsat decoders and can pick up unencrypted channels for free. The ITI group's rival "n" platform had 600,000 customers, and Cyfra+ had 1.38 million.

Poles Watching Less TV
The average Pole spent 3.52 hours every day in front of the television last year, compared with 4.01 hours in 2007, according to AGB Nielsen Media Research. Poland's largest TV stations also lost market share last year. Commercial broadcaster TVN was the only one of the top four stations to increase its market share during 2008. Public broadcaster TVP's first channel TVP1 had the largest viewing audience, at 22.63 percent, 0.57 percentage points down from 2007. Next came TVP 2 with 16.83 percent, down 1.16 p.p., TVN with 16.73 percent, up 0.27 p.p., and commercial broadcaster Polsat with 15.42 percent, down 1.34 p.p.

Online Film Awards
The ninth Online Film Awards competition kicked off Jan. 2. Internet users get to choose the winners in 14 categories in a two-stage process. These include the best and worst films of 2008, best animated film, best male and female actors, best music, best TV series, best Polish movie website, best DVD publisher, and best independent cinema discovery of the year.

The voting is organized by stopklatka.pl, a website that attracts thousands of users who give their take on what is happening in the world of film. Online voters control the entire procedure from go to whoa by making nominations as well as picking winners. The one exception is the independent cinema discovery of the year. In this case, five candidates are put up by the editorial staff of television channel Kino Polska. Online voters then get to choose the winner in the finals.

The winners will be announced Feb. 13. For more information, go to www.stopklatka.pl/inf

MTV Analyzes Viewer Emotions
Media Group MTV Networks Polska is conducting "neuro-marketing" research in conjunction with the scientific research institute LAB. MTV NP is utilizing some innovative research recently carried out by the institute and whose results will be made public during the Neuroconnections conference in Cracow early in February.

The study in question analyzed the reactions of Polish and Australian viewers to selected videos and examined their preferences regarding particular video clips and artists. Viewers' emotional reactions were measured using a method known as NeuroTrace. The study used works by international stars as well as popular Polish and Australian performers. The study was the first of its kind in Poland and one of the first anywhere in the world.

The results are expected to show what makes viewers prefer one work over another and what makes some performers more popular than others. MTV Networks Polska will be analyzing the results and weighing up programming proposals at its various stations, including MTV Polska, VH1 Polska and Viva Polska.

Vampires on HBO
The new HBO series True Blood is about to make its Polish debut five months after premiering in the United States. The series has achieved the highest ratings of any HBO production to date and has received two Golden Globe nominations. True Blood stars Stephen Moyer and Oscar winner Anna Paquin. The first episode goes to air on HBO's pay channel Feb. 7. HBO (Home Box Office) is a subsidiary of Time Warner.

The drink Tru, containing a type of synthetic blood, is concocted in a Japanese laboratory. The blood is then extracted and put into mass production. This enables vampires to come out of their hidey-holes at night, although humans are no longer the mainstay of their menu. Vampires now want to start a new life as fully-fledged members of society with the same rights as everyone else.

The series was created and produced by Alan Ball, who previously created the multi-award-winning HBO series Six Feet Under and won an Oscar for his American Beauty screenplay. True Blood is based on Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse book series. National U.S. daily newspaper USA Today rated True Blood as one of the top 10 series of 2008.
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