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The Warsaw Voice » Business » May 7, 2015
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Media in brief
May 7, 2015   
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Media M&As
Mergers and acquisitions among cable TV operators and satellite platforms dominated Europe’s media and entertainment sector last year. These included giant transactions resulting in the emergence of Europe’s largest pay-TV operator, Sky. It was formed in a merger of British digital broadcaster BskyB, Italy’s Sky Italia, and Germany’s Sky Deutschland. The merger catapulted Sky to the forefront of publicly-traded companies in Europe.

German corporation Bertelsmann remains No. 1 in terms of revenue in Europe, with an annual revenue of 16.4 billion euros. The corporation’s member companies include television broadcaster RTL Group, publishers Penguin Random House and Gruner + Jahr (the latter also active in Poland), and Be Printers.

At the forefront of European media giants are also Vivendi (owner of the Canal+ Group, which operates television stations and owns 51 percent of the nc+ platform in Poland) and Liberty Global. Liberty Global is active in 12 European countries where it owns telecommunications and pay TV operators such as Virgin Media, UPC and Ziggo. It also enjoys a prominent position in Poland as the owner of UPC Polska and of 17 percent of the nc+ platform.

The list of media giants operating in Europe closes with France’s Lagardere, owner of Hachette book and press publishers and holder of a controlling stake in Poland’s Eurozet, a radio group that includes Radio Zet, the second largest radio station in Poland.

Two New Channels for Polsat
Polish private television broadcaster Telewizja Polsat, owned by tycoon Zygmunt Solorz-Żak, plans to launch a new specialty channel targeted at Poles living abroad in the second half of this year. The channel will be called Polsat World.

“Polsat World will be a separate channel for Poles living abroad,” Maciej Stec, a member of the management board at Telewizja Polsat, told a press conference. “The new channel will replace Polsat 2 International, which is currently available in the United States, Australia and New Zealand.”

The broadcaster is waiting for a satellite license for the new channel. It applied for the green light from the National Broadcasting Council at the beginning of this year.

Last year, Polsat received a satellite license for a film channel called Polsat Film 2, but this has yet to go on air.

“Our talks with film distributors are taking longer than we expected. We want [Polsat Film 2] to be a decent channel,” said Stec. “There is no precise date for launching Polsat Film 2, but the company would want it to go on air still this year.”

Polsat currently has 21 channels in its portfolio, including five aired under the Polsat label but not owned by the broadcaster.

Polish Edition of Esquire
A Polish edition of Esquire men’s magazine has hit the newsstands. Published by Marquard Media Polska, the magazine will appear every two months.

Esquire Polska offers readers interviews with well-known figures and articles about art, film, technology, business and sports. There are also style and advice columns.

Owned by the Hearst Corporation, Esquire has been published since 1932. Initially it was only available in the United States; today it is available worldwide.

Including the Polish edition, the magazine now has 26 editions worldwide. Outside the United States, it also appears in Britain, Russia, China, Germany, the Czech Republic, Romania, Spain and Ukraine.

Esquire Polska hit the streets as a 168-page publication, with a print run of 80,000 and a price tag of zl.11.90. Ad prices in the magazine range from zl.49,000 to zl.85,000.

The editor-in-chief of the Polish edition of Esquire is Filip Niedenthal, former executive fashion editor at Harper’s Bazaar magazine and onetime editor-in-chief of Podróże magazine.

19.2 Million Poles Use Internet
Almost 64 percent of Poles aged over 15, or 19.2 million in total, use the internet, according to a NetTrack survey conducted by the Millward Brown market research company between September and November last year. The figure is 1 percent higher than in the same period of 2013, but slightly lower than in early 2014. The figures show that Poland is beyond the stage of revolutionary changes in terms of internet coverage, Millward Brown said.

In a positive trend, the number of internet users aged over 60 is steadily rising, the company added.

The most popular websites with Polish internet users are Google, YouTube, Allegro, Facebook, Onet and Wirtualna Polska.
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