Ongoing efforts to impose a charge on online content, boosting the offering of content on demand or new thematic TV and radio stations. Here is the recapitulation of events in the media market in 2021.

Ongoing efforts to impose a charge on online content, boosting the offering of content on demand, new thematic TV and radio stations, tense situations around public service media and the recurring need to respond to the new waves of the Covid-19 pandemic. This is a list of the key events of this year on the media market.

The coronavirus, which had a enormous impact on the previous year, accompanied events in the media throughout 2021. However, its impacts were less negative. The situation was worse in the first quarter, which reflected predominantly in the investments in cinema advertising (cinema theatres were closed until June) and OOH (the ongoing state of emergency and reduced human mobility in the streets). With the easing in May, the situation started to change and the demand for ad space across media types started to grow. This resulted in the pressure on ad space, which was sold out already in the summer, and this situation extended into the second half of the year. It also affected pricing for 2022.

The largest local media companies based on the traditional media world characterised by a strong position of individual media types (TV, print, radio, online) are seeking to transform into the digital environment and integrate their media offerings into a whole. Czech News Center and Vltava Labe Media planned significant investments in the digital transformation and the Nova group has also been following this direction after the entrance of the new owner, the PPF group. Nova is building its digital strategy around its pay video portal Voyo where it wishes to place some of its original shows as a priority and afterwards distribute them to its viewers from there through other channels. The placement of the long-running TV series Ordinace v růžové zahradě to the digital platform only is one of the results of the strategy.

Although the Czech market lags behind the development in Western European countries in terms of media audience behaviour, there is no doubt that local media companies have to get ready for the time when viewers will much more and more often decide on what, when and where they are going to watch. Nova’s competitor, the Prima group, does not want to fall behind and has started working on several alternatives of its pay online service. In addition, Česká televize is aware that the online environment cannot be omitted due to the priorities of predominantly the young generation. 

Czech publishers more often articulate their awareness of the need to support the sources of income from the sale of digital content although it is still rather low in aggregate and does not represent the major source of income for traditional publishers. Some publishers offering titles for reader groups with specific profiles have decided to accept Google’s proposal and joined the Google News Showcase project, which should generate money for the content used. The publishers’ policy is not uniform in this issue. Large publishing groups tend to wait for the establishment of a collective administrator who would redistribute the money from global tech companies to publishers.  

Some print titles and, predominantly, magazines experience a cautious renaissance. Former renowned brands such as Instinkt, Marie Claire or Mladý svět have returned to the market. Forum 24 launched a print newspaper format of Týdeník Forum in August. A 11 distributed its regional newspaper Náš region across the Czech Republic. The NextPage Media publishing house included another print title in its portfolio and is building its growth strategy on print titles.

The market of thematic TV stations was also dynamic. The largest commercial groups Nova and Prima launched new stations Nova Lady, Nova Sport 3, Nova Sport 4, Prima Start and Prima Show. Český rozhlas also introduced new digital stations: the sports radio station Radiožurnál Sport and ČRO Pohoda intended for older audiences.

Media Bohemia was also active on the radio market, continuing the acquisition of regional radios and integrating them in its radio families (Hitrádio, Rock rádio, Fajn rádio and the Blaník radio network). This year, it has grown both in Bohemia and Moravia. Audio on demand (various types of podcasts) has become another type of content on which media operators across the market bet more frequently, trying to monetize it slowly.

Throughout the year, the media agenda included public service media. In Česká televize, there was a tense situation between the Czech Television Council, which had new members after the elections in 2020, and the CEO of the Czech public TV Petr Dvořák. The situation escalated to lodging a criminal complaint about ČT management and Hana Lipovská with the police. Another planned change in the composition of the Czech Television Council was supposed to take place in the first half of this year but finally failed to occur before the elections to the Chamber of Deputies held in October due to the intentional obstructions of opposition deputies. As such, it will be the responsibility of newly elected deputies to complete the members of the Council. Towards the end of the year, there was an outburst of emotions in Český rozhlas due to the plan of the CEO, René Zavoral, to appoint Jitka Obzinová to the position of the news director. More than 600 employees of the Czech public radio expressed their disagreement by signing a petition. Finally, the CEO abandoned his intention.   

Selected events in the media market in 2021


  • Empresa Media re-launched its society monthly magazine Instinkt on 28 January. The magazine ceased publication in October 2019.
  • Czech businessmen who financed the launch of Deník N waived their ownership interests and invested them in a new foundation Nadace Independent Press. The representation of the Slovak Denník N has not changed.
  • The culture TV Naživo terminated broadcasting on the terrestrial platform and announced its plan to prepare shows for other TV companies going forward, justifying the step by having no partner for further broadcasting.
  • The sale of Mladá fronta continued. The kids titles were auctioned off by Valora Investment, Motocykl by P. Sedlák, the medical titles by Eesy Publishing, the online titles (, or were bought by Internet Info and the kids titles Puntík and Tečka! are newly published by MediaKids Publishing. 
  • PPF made the first major changes in the management of TV Nova after its acquisition, which included the staffing of key positions. 
  • Český rozhlas (ČRo) obtained broadcasting rights for the Olympic Games 2022 in Beijing and the Olympics in Paris in 2024 from Disocvery Communications.


  • Media Bohemia entered the Zlín region through the acquisition of the Zlín and Rock Max radio stations. It also opened its Radiohouse agency branch in Zlín. Rádio Zlín became a member of the Hitrádio network.
  • After 16 years, Mladý svět returned to the market. The weekly magazine was introduced by A 11. It was distributed on Thursdays for CZK 29. 
  • launched its first pay content service Seznam Premium. It allows watching ad-free videos. Subscription amounts to CZK 339 per year (about CZK 29 per month). However, Seznam emphasized that it was still available for free to its users.
  • Additional parts of Mladá fronta were sold. The book division of MF was purchased by Albatros Media for CZK 14 million. The print weekly Euro was bought by New Look Media (Dolce Vita, Muži v Česku).
  • The Municipal Court in Prague adjudicated Media Investments bankrupt. The agency was subject to the insolvency proceedings from last year and practically wound down its activities.
  • Aktuálně.cz launched a new platform A+, where it introduced its “public interest” projects. Readers can also contribute to the website operation. The website continues to be available free of charge.
  • CNN Prima News started broadcasting regional news Zprávy z regionů on 2 February. Regional editors of MF Dnes (Mafra) and Deník (VLM) participate in the programme’s content.              
  • The regional radio Oldies rádio (music of the 1960s-1980s) stopped broadcasting on FM frequencies and moved to the internet. In the FM band it was replaced by Rock Radio, targeting listeners aged 25-49.


  • Karel Komárek’s group KKCG established Media Marketing & Communication, a company focusing on media planning and marketing services. 
  • Hospodářské noviny (Economia) has been published in a new design since March. The newspaper’s format has also changed. 
  • Radim Pařízek, the media businessman, died suddenly aged 67. His media activities included radio stations Čas, Čas Rock Radio, Rádio Dálnice, TV Rebel, TV Relax and the digital multiplex 24.
  • Rockaway Capital owned by Jakub Havrlant became the investor of the International Film Festival in Karlovy Vary (MFF KV). It made an equity investment in the organising company. J. Bartoška remains the president.


  • Google launched a project called News Showcase in the Czech Republic. Within the project, it pays to the participating publishers for content. It did not disclose the amount of money concerned in the Czech market. Agreements were concluded with Economia, Echo Media, Internet Info, N media (Deník N) and Forum 24. ČTK joined the project at a later date.
  • The Chairwoman of the Board of Directors of CNC L. Šmuclerová published a call for traditional media support. She pointed out to the negative impacts of social networks and large tech companies.
  • CME, the owner of the Nova group, headed by D. Stoessel, defined a new direction towards the digital media and pay services. The centre of the new strategy is the video portal Voyo, to the redesign of which CME invests.
  • The cofounder of Bohemia Interactive, Marek Španěl, became a new majority owner of Echo Media, the publisher of Týdeník Echo and the website. He bought the shares from Rudolf Ovčaří. The editor in chief D. Balšínek returned to the management of the publishing house. He also became the chairman of the Board of Directors and again the shareholder of Echo Media. The transaction was managed by the media businessman M. Voráček.
  • The Municipal Court in Prague rejected the insolvency petition in respect of the media agency Médea. The petition was lodged by Lipian Trade in February. The court stated that the petitioner had failed to prove the existence of an outstanding receivable.
  • Czech News Center (CNC) established its own media agency for small and midium-sized enterprises (SME). The agency is intended to serve primarily regional clients.
  • The spring months saw disputes between the Czech Television Council and the CEO of the Czech public TV Petr Dvořák. The Council required him to explain his engagement in Gopas, a firm providing ČT with consulting services. According to the Council member H. Lipovská he was in a conflict of interests. Dvořák refused the argument, seeing nothing unlawful in his co-ownership of the firm.


  • Český rozhlas launched a sports station Radiožurnál Sport on 21 May. It is available in the digital broadcasting DAB+, on the internet and in DVB-T2. It is targeting sports fans, mainly men aged 35-50.
  • Česká televize moved all kids programmes to ČT:D.
  • The number of people facing disinformation and fake news has been growing in Czechia. According to the research of Nielsen Admosphere for NFNZ, 66% of the online population was exposed to disinformation or fake news last year (+11 pp compared to 2019).
  • Forbes introduced a pay digital version and activated pay premium content on its website The service is called Premium and contains not only articles from Forbes and Forbes Next but also other content on business, entrepreneurship and success. The monthly subscription fee is CZK 139.
  • The new owner of České Radiokomunikace (CRA) is Cordiant Digital Infrastructure. Under the new owner, the firm wants to continue its services and enter new businesses.
  • announced the launch of its audio platform It is intended to be another service for advertisers in addition to online and TV advertising.
  • The Nova group launched a live news service TN Live on its news website 


  • On 14 June, Prima Start, a new thematic station of the Prima group, started broadcasting. It focuses mainly on Prima’s archive production (Nikdo není dokonalý, To je fór, Velmi křehké vztahy or S Italem v kuchyni). It is targeted primarily at women.
  • The A 11 publishing house (owned by A. Zavoral) completed the coverage of the whole Czech Republic through Náš region with the print run of 2.5 million. It also entered two radio stations, Samson and Západ.
  • After eight months of statutory closure, all cinema theatres opened. As such, single-screen theatres that were open to the public from late May were joined by multiplexes.
  • The TV series Ordinace v růžové zahradě 2 (Nova) terminated its TV broadcasting after 16 years. Since the autumn season, it has only been available to the viewers of the pay video portal Voyo.
  • The most listened regional radio in Liberec, Radio Contact Liberec, became a new member of the Hitrádio network (Media Bohemia, Radiohouse). Media Bohemia strengthened the broadcasting of Rádio Blaník in the Liberec region.
  • Empresa Media introduced a print fortnightly in the tabloid segment. It is published under the name of VIP Svět. Its selling price is CZK 12, which is the lowest selling price in the segment.


  • Jaromír Soukup became the sole shareholder of Médea again. From the last year, he was in the position of a minority owner of the media agency (44%). He bought the remaining share back from the Chinese firm Citic. At the same time, changes is the Board of Directors and management  were made. Representatives of the Chinese shareholder left and also Martin Konrád left the position of CEO after nearly a month.
  • Radio stations represented by Media Club (the national radio stations Impuls, E2, F1, the regional Kiss, Country and other stations) announced an increase in the prices of ad spots by 12% starting from 1 September. 
  • The server adjusted its design and expanded the section of paid articles. The pay content is offered as part of iDnes Premium (a website affiliated to It introduced several new sections including crosswords. The plan is to place more texts from the print Lidové noviny and its magazines to the website.
  • YouTube made its short-form video service, YouTube Shorts, available to the Czech market. 15-second videos may only be recorded through a mobile phone. 
  • A member of the Czech Television Council,  H. Lipovská,  lodged a complaint with the police relating to several members of ČT management, the Supervisory Committee of the Czech Television Council and Médea. She did not disclose the names nor did she say what her accusations related to.
  • TV Prima launched a video website Prima Pauza on its platform. It is intended for younger users and offers short-form videos. Prima cooperates with on the website.
  • P. Tkáč’s J&T Capital Partners, where his shares in activities with D. Křetínský are consolidated, will assume Tkáč’s 40% share in Czech Media Invest (CMI). CMI includes, for example, CNC.
  • A new business website,, entered the market and is led by the former editor in chief of E15 T. Zavadilová. In addition to business, it should cover lifestyle topics. Its financial partner is the billionaire R. Lapčík.


  • The existing CEO of Český rozhlas (ČRo) René Zavoral was re-elected to the CEO position by 7 out of 9 votes. His new six-year mandate will start in January 2022. Three candidates applied to participate in the tender but Zavoral was the only one to meet the formal requirements of the Czech Radio Council.
  • The print weekly Týdeník Forum had a first print run of 70 thousand and its price was CZK 30. Its start was intentionally planned for the period before elections. “We want to fight for what is normal,” said the editor in chief Pavel Šafr, giving reasons for the decision.
  • Empresa Media entered the segment of TV overview magazines with its weekly TV komplet
  • The Khypo investment group became a new owner of Luxury Guide. The publisher of fashion titles  was formed and owned by Milena Žampová. J. Krulcová also entered Luxury Guide.
  • On 13 August, pay stations Nova Sport 3 and Nova Sport 4 were launched, offering foreign football leagues.
  • On 17 August, O2 TV launched a channel Premier Sport 2 with the Champions League matches.
  • Rockaway Capital made an agreement with Czech Media Invest on the purchase of a 50% share in Euromedia Group (Knižní klub, Luxor, Ikar, etc.) and became the sole owner of the major book group.


  • On 20 September, Nova 2 was renamed to Nova Fun. It also adjusted its programming to focus on entertainment. Nova Action underwent a redesign of its logo and programming.
  • On 4 October, Rádio Rock Max (Media Bohemia) was renamed to Rock Radio. It also expanded to cover a large portion of Moravia. 
  • Czech News Center (CNC) consolidated its video activities under Czech Video Center including Mall.TV. It also announced the start of projects for a young target group – the website for generation Z and a gaming application Kvízuj.
  • The deputies removed Hana Lipovská from the Czech Television Council.  64 out of 80 present deputies voted for her removal. The reason was Lipovská’s candidacy in the Parliamentary elections.
  • On Sunday, 5 September, Nova started broadcasting from a new news studio. It was designed in cooperation with the Austrian Veech x Veech design office. Logos of news programmes were also changed.
  • A pay internet Talk TV was launched. It was founded by Stanislav Hruška, the author of StandaShow. Its content is available to subscribers for CZK 159 per month. It wants to be “Netflix for video podcasts”.


  • All major commercial TV ad market players announced that TV ad prices would grow in 2022. Media Club increases its prices by 11-16%, Nova by 12.5%, Atmedia by 5-10% and ČT by 10%.  
  • Hospodářské noviny (Economia) introduced a new design of its website. The website underwent a graphic and technological redesign and left the domain.
  • Česká pošta made an agreement on the purchase of part of PNS, the largest print distributor in the Czech market. The part concerned is the one focusing on subscribed print and mail delivery. Distribution to newsagents was not included in the deal. The transaction is subject to the assessment by the Office for the Protection of Competition.
  • CPEx (CNC, Mafra, VLM, Economia) negotiates with on the introduction of a uniform user identification standard after Google terminates its support for third-party cookies. They announced it at the CIF21 conference.
  • On 18 October, a new channel focusing on female viewers Nova Lady was launched, offering predominantly premiere episodes of foreign series and reruns of TV series such as Ulice and Ordinace v růžové zahradě
  • The TV channel Prima Show started broadcasting on 25 October in the afternoon. Its content is based on entertainment and reality shows. It includes the second season of Like House or the localised version of Shopping Queen. The station is seeking to address younger women aged 15-45.
  • On 4 October, the publishing of the Marie Claire magazine in Czech was re-launched. It is published by cbm publications, which has close relations to the publisher of the Xantypa magazine.
  • On 1 October, Český rozhlas launched a new digital station for older audiences named Pohoda. It is available in DAB+, on the internet or DVB-T2. It is a radio version of the ČT3 TV station.


  • Emma Capital owned by Jiří Šmejc purchased a 70% share in Mailstep, which is one of the largest firms focusing on e-commerce distribution. It was originally owned by its founder J. Rozlivka.
  • The Polish company Allegro will acquire a 100% share in the Czech e-shop group Mall Group and the courier service WeDo. The deal is worth EUR 975 million (about CZK 24.7 billion). The transaction does not include Vivantis, Mall Pay, Mall.TV and Koší, which were spun off from the Mall Group in the past.
  • The NextPage Media publishing house expanded its print portfolio to include the Football Club quarterly.


  • Jitka Obzinová was proposed for the position of news director in Český rozhlas. The plan of the Czech public radio’s CEO, R. Zavoral, met with resistance inside ČRo, 600 people signed a petition against the proposal. Finally, Obzinová will not hold the position.
  • Seznam established a company named média for its publishing activities. A new firm Seznam Zprávy and also TV, the operator of Televize Seznam, will be concentrated under média.
  • Economia (HN, Ekonom, Respekt, Aktuálně.cz, etc.) left the model of a uniform newsroom management and returned to the management of individual titles by editors in chief. The position of the head of content ceased to exist. The portfolio was divided into media and non-media products. 
  • Česká televize launched a new generation of its video service iVysílání. In the first stage, it wants to offer a better-structured programme catalogue, higher user comfort and programmes shot exclusively for the website.
  • The Council for the Radio and Television Broadcasting initiated proceedings with Šlágr TV to revoke the licences for broadcasting the Šlágr TV and Šlágr 2 programmes. This step was justified by the fact that the company was declared bankrupt.



TV Nova will launch the Czech-and-Slovak version of the Survivor reality show on Tuesday, 11 January 2022 at 8 pm. The day before, on 10 January, the first episode will be shown on Voyo. The competition will feature celebrities.

TV Nova will launch the Czech-and-Slovak version of Survivor on Tuesday, 11 January 2022 at 8 pm. The first episode will be shown on Voyo the day before, on 10 January.

Survivor is one of the biggest, most popular and most successful reality shows across the world. It is a format that perfectly fits into the diverse programming offer of TV Nova and is successful predominantly with young TV and online viewers,” says Silvia Majeská, Programming Director, TV Nova. The show will be broadcast in co-production with the Slovak fellow-subsidiary TV Markíza. 

From an extensive number of applicants, 8 Czechs and 4 Slovaks were selected who will fight for survival in the Dominican Republic. Additional 12 contestants are celebrities. These 24 participants will compete in various games for survival and the total victory. The winner will receive a prize of 2.5 million crowns.

The Czech celebrities who have accepted the challenge include: the singer, actor and presenter Vojtěch Drahokoupil, known to viewers as the co-host of the online show Love Island Extra; the actress, singer and stand-up comedian Iva Pazderková; the YouTuber, blogger and presenter Nikola Čechová; the presenter of the favourite radio station Evropa 2 Tomáš Zástěra; the finalist of MasterChef Česko Ta Thuy Dung alias Chili; the actress and singer Barbora Jánová; and the model, actor and former football player Matěj Paprčiak.

The Slovak celebrities will be represented by the most watched video maker Daniel “GoGo” Štrauch; the winner of the 12th series of the Farma reality show  Xénia Gregušová; the MMA fighter Gábor Boráros; the football player and Love Island contestant Nathan Christián Dzaba; and the sportswoman, 14-time karate world champion Veronika Havlik.

The show will be hosted by a Czech-and-Slovak pair of presenters. The Czech host will be the sports commentator Ondřej Novotný. Slovakia will be represented by Martin Šmahel, whom TV Markíza’s viewers know as the host of the online show Farma X-tra.

The reality show is made in cooperation with the leading international production company Acun Medya Global, which made a big viewer hit out of Survivor in Turkey, Greece, Romania and Mexico. Globally, the format is distributed by Banijay Rights, the global distributor having a multi-genre portfolio. Since its launch in 1997, Survivor has been adapted in 48 territories.



The time spent with TV screens on Christmas Eve is growing up to more than six hours a day.

8.7 million Czechs switch on their TV at least once during the Christmas holidays. On average, they spend watching TV over 5.5 hours a day. “This year will most likely be no exception and the Christmas holidays will again be the days with the highest rating in the year,” assumes Pavel Müller, Head of Research & Marketing in Atmedia, the agency representing 28 thematic TV stations in the Czech market.

TV is watched the most on Christmas Eve. For example, 8.2 million viewers switched on TV on 24 December last year. They spent nearly 6.5 hours watching TV shows. In the last ten years, the rating on Christmas Eve was always the highest in the year. The only exception was 2013 when the first place was taken by New Year’s Eve. However, Christmas Eve was right behind it.

The high TV rating during Christmas holidays translates to the list of the most watched shows of the year. “The fairy tales aired on Christmas Eve are regularly among the shows with the top rating,” describes Pavel Müller, adding that the top ten also includes other fairy tales and shows broadcast during Christmas holidays or shortly before or after them. For example last year, 9 out of 10 most watched shows were aired from 23 to 31 December. “Last year was a record year from this point of view. In previous years, fairy tales aired during Christmas took from three to five positions in the top ten most watched shows of the year.”

While in the Czech Republic, Christmas fairy tales, and Christmas holidays in general, rank among those with the highest rating in the entire year, in the neighbouring countries the situation is different. The top rating is achieved by shows of various genres run throughout the year. For example, in Austria and Germany, none of the shows aired during the Christmas holidays was among the top ten most watched shows last year. The highest rating was reported by the news shows, films, series or reality shows run in various months of the year.

Poland and Slovakia are more similar to the Czech Republic in this respect. In Poland, Home Alone broadcast on Christmas Eve and the show aired on New Year’s Eve took a position in the top ten most watched shows. The most popular show with Slovak viewers is the Christmas fairy tale Tři oříšky pro Popelku, which is constantly the most watched or the second most watched show of the year.



Christmas and TV go together like port and Stilton, turkey and stuffing, or a nut roast and disappointment.

But what exactly does Christmas mean to TV – and what does TV mean to Christmas? You might not be asking these questions, but we have answers nonetheless…

Do we watch more TV at Christmas?

TV is incredibly important at Christmas, a part of its tinselly fabric. And at Christmas – indeed whenever we spend more time at home (like during lockdown) – TV viewing always gets a boost.

For example, in 2020 the average time spent watching broadcaster TV on Christmas Day was 3 hours, 41 minutes, well above the daily average across the year of 3 hours, 12 minutes (and that was a year that had lockdowns boosting viewing).

Have festive viewing habits changed?

TV viewing in general has transformed in recent years, so it would be a little weird if Christmas viewing hadn’t done the same. We have more choice, better technology, and we spread our viewing across on demand and live.

For example, we watch more time-shifted TV on Christmas Day than we used to: 14% of Christmas Day viewing in 2020 was time-shifted compared with only 7% in 2010.

BARB’s new data on video shows that two thirds (67.6%) of our viewing time is now spent with broadcaster TV (mainly live), the other third is shared roughly between SVOD (14.9%) and video sharing (17.8%). So we can expect a similar pattern at Christmas.

But much of this is extra video viewing, rather than just a replacement for broadcaster TV. On Christmas Day 2010, 68% of people watched broadcaster TV. In 2020 it was 67%, so no real change over time.

TV broadcasters are agnostic about how people watch their stuff, however, and have adapted to make their shows available to people however and whenever they want to watch them (have a look at some Christmas TV highlights here).

Do we watch more together at Christmas?

Yes we do. While our choice and technology have transformed, humans have not, and our love of shared viewing is a big part of Christmas.

In fact there is triple the amount of shared viewing on Christmas Day compared with the rest of the year.  Groups of three or more watching live TV together accounted for 26% of all live TV viewing on Christmas Day 2020. Across the whole year it averaged 8%.

Shared viewing doesn’t have to be live of course; most on-demand viewing happens on the TV set now and so is increasingly likely to be watched in company (we just don’t have comprehensive data on that…yet).

Do we all gather round the same shows on Christmas Day?

We do and we don’t; the reality of how we watch TV now has changed things. With so much choice, rather than a few TV shows getting enormous live audiences, we now have more shows attracting big audiences.

On Christmas Day 2010, 12 programmes delivered audiences of over 5 million and 28 programmes delivered audiences between 1-5 million. On Christmas Day 2020, 7 programmes delivered 5 million+ but 38 programmes attracted between 1-5 million.

TV still provides those national, cultural moments when we come together. But greater choice provides countless and no less important moments for smaller audiences This is true all year round. TV is not just for Christmas.

How important is Christmas ad revenue to TV broadcasters?

All ad revenue has been crucial this year – and TV advertising has seen resurgent investment.

Part of this is the short-term bounce back from 2020. But it is also part of a longer-term trend, driven by two things: online-born business turning to TV to drive growth and established advertisers rediscovering TV advertising and increasing their investment.

Pre-Christmas is a crucial time of year to TV’s customers – especially retailers, who generate a lot of their revenue at Christmas and trust TV to deliver the huge audiences they need to drive sales.

We expect Q4 investment in TV to have been significant. To give an indication, the AA forecasts that £7.9 billion will be spent on Christmas advertising in 2021, a billion more than 2020 – and TV remains the cornerstone of Christmas advertising. Have a look at some of the great ads from this year here.

Merry Christmas!



Advertising has been recovering from the pandemic, but which channel bounced back quickest and biggest this year?

Mediatel News spoke to media owners, agency execs, publishers, columnists and specialists to get their opinions.

The ad agency exec

Larissa Vince, CEO TBWA\London

“I’ve been rather loving the high impact return of outdoor over the last year or so. It’s really come back with a bang.”Sometimes that’s been through innovation – like the work we did for Nissan Qashqai where the car bursts out of the screen. “Often though, it’s just by using brilliant, old-fashioned copywriting, like Channel 4’s “it’s rude not to stare” for the Paralympics, or fabulous art direction, like “Lights on” for McDonald’s. “It’s been great to see such an established medium properly reinvent itself.”

The columnist

Nick Manning, co-founder of Manning Gottlieb OMD, CSO at Ebiquity and owner of mentoring business, Encyclomedia

“Surely there is only one candidate for ‘medium of the year’, isn’t there? Television has had a stellar year and has proven yet again that there is no better place to advertise if you want brand growth. Many of the new generation of brands have realised this as their acquisition channels show signs of attrition.”We are blessed by the best TV content of all time presented through extraordinary technology using the richest ever palette of techniques. It also reminds us how ‘user-generated content’ (ie amateur) is usually, er, crap, and a bad context for advertising.

“There is a ‘but’. ‘Big Telly’ has never been in better shape but TV advertising is not. Leaving aside the ‘ads were better in my day’ argument, the explosion of innovation in TV content has not been matched by developments in how TV is planned, bought and sold. “There are notable exceptions, with ITV and Channel 4 setting a hot pace in addressable TV and Sky continuing to benefit from NBC’s ownership, but some antiquated TV trading mechanics continue to prevent UK broadcasters from unleashing their full potential as they struggle to compete versus the streamers and subscription-driven players. “Imagine what our industry could achieve if given free rein, and could take better advantage of the strength of the content that we enjoy. They may even be able to stop the excessive repetition of really poor ads in high quality programming on catch-up that gives people real reasons to leave the room or fast forward.”

The newsbrand

Martin Little, audience transformation director, Reach

“Newsletters are a game-changer, and we’ve only just scratched the surface of their potential. We’ve expanded our newsletters from a mere handful at the start of 2021 to now over 400.

“The format taps into people’s obsessions to give them the content that makes them tick, from entertainment to politics to football; they deliver curated journalism to people’s inboxes on the topics they are genuinely engaged with.

“The figures speak for themselves, and over 2021 the total page views newsletters have generated for Reach titles have more than doubled to over 50 million a month.”

The publisher

Dominic Carter, group chief commercial officer at News UK

“The most significant medium over the past year has undoubtedly been newspapers. Via print and digital, news brands have played a vital role in communicating trusted information surrounding the pandemic to the public. “It is no surprise, therefore, that the Government chose this medium to guide the public on how to save lives and stay healthy. “The quality journalism provided by news brands has also been responsible for some of the most earth-shattering scoops this year – from the Matt Hancock affair scandal to the sexual harrassment uncovered inside Westminster. Already a pivotal source of information, newspapers were truly relied upon in 2021.”

The media agency exec

Nick Wright, MD, Havas Entertainment, part of Havas Media Group

“It’s as obvious as it is hard to ignore, but Meta is the buzzword of 2021 that will become so much more in the future.

“Putting Facebook’s name change to one side, metaverses aren’t just an innovation or trend, they’re a whole new dynamic media ecosystem that every agency and brand should at least understand, even if they’re not ready to jump in feet-first.

“We’ve already seen brands dipping their toes in. It’s no surprise that the likes of Adidas, Vans and Nike have explored this space, but we’re also seeing more traditional brands such as Fidelity and John Lewis do the same.

“2022 will see huge investments and focus in this area as brands establish their voice, footprint and experiences. It’s all media, just not as we know it.”

The OOH specialist

Aoife Hudson, deputy managing director, Talon Ireland

“The OOH industry has grown considerably, with Q3 expenditure reporting a 43% increase YOY. “The pandemic has taught us many things but from an advertising point of view, I think we have all learned the importance of agility and that is where DOOH excelled in 2021. “Now accounting for 40% of total OOH spend, DOOH became an essential communications tool, serving the needs of advertisers through its core capabilities of agility and flexibility. “We saw increases in both dynamic content and programmatically bought DOOH which allowed advertisers to plan and buy with a smarter approach whilst consumer’s needs and behaviours were in flux.”

The camera and AR specialist

Sam Bevan, director emerging EMEA, Snap

“It has been happening for years but in 2021, the camera, and particularly Augmented Reality (AR) firmly came into its own as the key driver of social commerce and shopping across the board. “While AR-powered Virtual Try On has been around for a while, this year at Snapchat we saw both digital only and ‘traditional’ outlets of all sizes and verticals embrace the ecommerce tools available to them across the entire shopping journey. “This is great news for customers who get a better experience, and great news for brands and outlets who can now meet, engage and connect with their customers wherever they are.”

The ad agency exec

Fiona Gordon, CEO UK, Ogilvy

“In 2021 Influencers have become a media in their own right. They stopped being a garnish and have become a main ingredient. “2022 will see Influence become fundamental to the marketing mix. The future of brand success is built on influence, those businesses who recognise this new reality will be the ones who become the new establishments brands. “Those keeping influencers on the periphery are making a big mistake. For brands to be relevant, influencers should absolutely be at the heart of consumer engagement.”

The big screen specialist

Karen Stacey, CEO Digital Cinema Media

“For me, TV is the star of 2021. The medium has adapted to growing brand needs that were made relevant due to the altered landscape during the ongoing pandemic, transforming how television advertising is approached. “In particular, addressable TV, which has become one of the hottest areas, combining targeting, engagement and reach, alongside the growing trend of direct to consumer (D2C) categories and shorter booking deadlines, which have meant more flexibility. “Contextual targeting is also making a comeback, driving major changes to how brands can target, optimize and measure in privacy-safe and relevant environments. An AV advertising trait that both TV and cinema excel at. Watch out 2022.”

The analyst

Ian Whittaker, media, mar-tech and tech analyst

“And the winner is…Broadcasting. Yes, you read that correctly. A few reasons for the choice. “Firstly, TV advertising not only bounced back strongly compared with the pandemic (fair enough, easy comps) but also improved vs pre-pandemic levels. As an example, ITV Total Ad Revenues are up 8% for the first 9 months vs 2019 helped by AVOD growth. Most major European broadcasters are seeing the same. “Second, and this is more a theory than rooted in scientific evidence, but TV’s (and I include AVOD in this) status has improved amongst advertisers during the pandemic. My take on this is that decision makers have woken up to the fact TV still plays a central role in many people’s lives (and that streaming services have their limitations). “Thirdly, the strategy of Broadcasters have taken a big step forwards, whether in programmatic, the growth of AVOD or (more slowly) pivoting to not thinking of themselves as solely linear TV providers.”

The audio specialist

Charlotte Taylor, head of publishing & audio, Spark Foundry

“For me, 2021 has been a brilliant success for Audio. With ad spend for linear radio forecasted to be +18.6% YoY and digital +22.5% (WARC), the numbers speak for themselves. “The acceleration of digital across all channels has been prevalent and audio has shone through. Digital listening hours are +15% YoY, equating to 665m hours per week. Digital innovation has extended reach, choice and the ability to consume audio content via a variety of new devices and digital channels. “The podcast sector, in particular, has had a stellar year! 18.9m people in the UK are listening to podcasts weekly, that is +79% since the start of the pandemic and is showing no signs of slowing! The revenue numbers are very impressive, podcasting ad spend is forecasted to hit £44M+ in the UK alone this year and £74M+ by 2024, making it one of the fastest-growing advertising channels.” It’s an exciting time to be in the audio space and I have no doubt that we’ll be sitting here again in 2022, going – ‘What a year Audio has had!’”

The media owner

Simon Kilby, MD, Bauer Media Advertising

“As working from home and video calling became the norm in 2020, many people experienced screen fatigue and turned to the medium of audio in 2021. “Add that to the higher take up of smart speakers, and digital audio thrived – across radio, podcasts, streaming and social audio platforms. “Q3 RAJAR figures showing record reach and hours for UK commercial radio further proved the medium’s resilience and ability to connect, highlighting the opportunity for advertisers. With many of our own clients citing flexibility, speed and ease of production as key benefits, we believe the medium will continue to win in 2022.”

The streaming specialist

Mike Shaw, director of  international ad sales, Roku

“Connected TV is the obvious winner. The changes in the way people are watching TV have continued apace and CTV is where the heat is today for media planners and buyers. “For those that have previously bought linear only, CTV provides granularity like they’ve not been able to achieve before, while digital-first teams can use it to drive brand awareness and short-term growth to engaged audiences. “2021 has been a breakthrough year for CTV, and it’s going to be exciting to see what 2022 looks like.”

The digital audio specialist

Rak Patel, head of enterprise sales, Spotify EMEA

“Digital audio, like digital video before it, really came of age in 2021 as it became the number one user activity on mobile, outpacing social, video, and gaming. “Digital audio is now an integral part of life for hundreds of millions of us worldwide: taking the UK as an example, 75% of adults listen to online audio at least monthly, and nearly 60% of adults are now podcast listeners. “With audio enjoying such a strong 2021, it’s the reason we’ve been able to commit to growing our Spotify Advertising workforce by over 70% in Europe, Australia, and Canada, to take advantage of the massive opportunity for digital audio advertising, and driving innovation with game-changing, first-to-market adtech like Spotify Ad Network and Streaming Ad Insertion for podcasts.”



Although more and more Czechs are using paid streaming services, not all people are actually paying for the content, notes Erika Luzsicza.

The coronavirus pandemic and its associated lockdowns have taught Czechs to use streaming services. There were 1.3 million people over the age of 16 watching paid services like Netflix, HBO GO and others this year alone, according to the latest Czech Statistical Office data. This is a 45% increase compared to the previous year, when the CSO said 925,000 people were watching. However, experts warn that not all Czechs are paying for this content, as the survey claims.

“The numbers are optimistic on one hand, but not entirely realistic. In fact, it is common practice for some paying viewers to share their passwords with other people. Or, conversely, it may be part of various marketing promotions, where some companies use various service synergies and promotional packages to offer free subscriptions as a bonus in the offer. Thus, real paying users will be only a part of the numbers mentioned,” comments media expert Erika Luzsicza from Axocom.

TV platforms on the Internet have been helped especially by the pandemic. Statisticians report that in 2019, only 3 % of people over the age of 16 used streaming services. This year, that number has multiplied to 15.4%. Most people who watch pay-per-view videos are in the 25-34 age group, at 2 9%.

Estimates of the number of people watching paid online streams vary

Estimates vary on how many people watch paid online videos in the Czech Republic. According to a recent Atmedia index survey, 28 % of Czech TV viewers pay for at least one video-on-demand service, bringing the total number to two million. Netflix is the most common (74 %).

Close to the Atmedia Index estimate are also data from MML-TGI research for the second and third quarter of this year, according to which 1.8 million people use at least one of the paid video services.

On the other hand, according to the prediction of Daniel Grunt, head of digital activities at TV Nova and CME, which he showed at the Czech Internet Forum conference in October, the size of the market of paid video on demand (SVOD) services in the Czech market is about 1.7 billion CZK and the number of subscribers is about 700 thousand.

We lag behind Western Europe in the number of paying subscribers

Although the Czechs seem to have improved significantly in paying for content, we are lagging behind compared to Europe. In a comparison of 27 countries, the Czech Republic ranks fourth from last, with only Latvia, Romania and Bulgaria being worse. In contrast, the majority of the population paying for content is in countries like Sweden, the Netherlands, Denmark, but also Spain and Ireland. By contrast, free or ad-supported content such as Czech Television’s iBroadcast, or DVTV was watched by almost three million people this year, or an equal third of the population over 16.

“In more economically advanced countries, it is quite common to see a different social setup. Customers are taught that you have to pay for quality. And the differences are then incomparable and we don’t have to go far for examples. Just compare the quality of Czech series with foreign ones, it is always directly proportional to the budgets,” adds Erika Luzsicza.



An overview of changes in linear TV’s daily reach and consumption in Q3 2021 in Australia, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States.

  • Linear TV is settling into a post-pandemic trend of smaller audiences but higher consumption as daily reach declines but minutes watched rise.
  • At the same time, sports content, one of linear’s biggest drivers, has seen a continued decline in viewership as many sports leagues shift to streaming and fans move to short-form highlights.

Linear TV is settling into a post-pandemic trend of smaller audiences but higher consumption, according to smart TV data from viewership company Samba TV.

In the United States, while linear TV’s daily reach has fallen by 10% between Q3 2019 and Q3 2021, the number of minutes watched has risen by 17%. The same trend is visible in Germany and the UK, where the latter has seen audience consumption rise by a strong 42%. This means those that are still watching are watching more.

Australia bucks this trend somewhat, though, and has seen daily reach rise over the past two years (+11%).

This follows a surge in audiences and viewing last year which has since eased. At the same time, sports content, one of linear’s biggest drivers, has seen a continued decline in viewership as many sports leagues shift to streaming and fans move to short-form highlights. For example, sports media is one of the best performing genres on TikTok.

However, the fourth quarter is often a strong period for TV reach and consumption and concerns about the Omicron variant of COVID-19 mean the last three months of 2021 may see a recovery in daily reach.

This comes as the cost of TV advertising is expected to rise by 6% this year worldwide, the largest increase across different media. For brands, using connected TV and broadcast TV together is proving popular while cosmetics company L’Oréal has found a new role for TV in driving online sales.



In this year’s eleven months, all media types show higher volumes of ad investments than in the comparable period last year.  

This November, the monitored volume of ad investments in the media remains above the level of the same month last year. As the AdIntel data provided by Nielsen Admosphere shows, investments in print, radio and OOH increased by nearly 40% in the eleventh month of this year, which does not apply to TV.   

The monitored volume of TV investments was two percent lower. However, TV receives nearly two thirds of ad investments out of all media available for comparison.

In the period from January to November 2021, the monitored volume of media ad investments is higher by more than 5%. All media types report better results than in the comparable period last year.

The media overview by monitored investments excludes the internet as the monitoring only covers display advertising, thus omitting other online ad formats.

We reiterate that the volumes monitored do not correspond to the actual investments; they are prepared based on list prices.



The pandemic has accelerated a shift to connected TV viewing and the ability to target those audiences is becoming more sophisticated. Now the industry is poised for transformation on measurement, says TVSquared’s Darren Moore.

Although the end of third-party cookies has been postponed, preparations continue for its retirement, now scheduled for 2023. While Google has given advertisers and publishers more time to find alternative solutions and strategies that can sustain ad campaign performance, connected TV (CTV) – which never relied on cookies to begin with – is reaping the benefits of this digital uncertainty.

As the drama around cookies unfolds, advertisers are forging a new path; guiding the way towards an ecosystem driven by first-party data and privacy-conscious approaches. While its cookieless capabilities have received greater attention as of late, that’s not the only reason CTV is flourishing.

Why CTV is a rising star

No matter when the curtain falls on third-party cookies, CTV is becoming a more significant part of the media mix – and it’s not just because of industry developments. It’s because savvy advertising follows the audience – and, now more than ever, audiences are flocking to CTV platforms.

Today’s TV viewer expects control, not only of what they watch, but also when, where and how they watch. Coupled with the impact of the global pandemic, these behaviours have led audiences to adopt streaming services at a phenomenal rate. Globally, 54% of adults now frequently watch streamed TV content, and 65% of those people do so for two hours daily. 

Since March 2020, brands have recognised that the TV advertising landscape has been reinvented by this trend, and media spend has shifted in response. For example, TVSquared’s recent survey of UK advertisers revealed that 90% agree ‘TV’ is now defined as both linear and streaming platforms, with 89% indicating that TV should be sold on impressions. Thanks to channels like ad-supported video on demand (AVOD), this broader definition of TV is attracting a greater portion of ad budgets. AVOD expenditure alone is expected to more than double between 2019 and 2025, reaching $66 billion across 138 countries.

TVSquared’s survey also evidenced UK advertisers’ growing commitment to CTV as part of their media mix. A third of respondents said they currently allocate between 16-25% of their total TV budget to CTV, and almost half (45%) are running CTV campaigns across three-to-five platforms. Moreover, 35% indicated they will advertise on six or more in 2022 – proof of CTV’s continuing growth as part of advertising strategies.

Clean rooms: Behind the scenes

As advertisers follow their audiences, media partners capable of delivering effective ad targeting have become more valuable. Personalisation in the CTV landscape is made possible with device and advertising IDs based on proprietary, or first-party, data. Viewers’ trust in TV as a medium makes CTV both rich in data and a source of premium inventory.

Data clean-rooms are allowing first-party data to be shared without compromising user privacy, creating value for both brands and consumers. Instead of a third-party combining two separate data sets, an expensive process prone to error, clean rooms now enable two parties – for instance a brand and media partner – to enter a safe environment where they can put down parameters for what they want to share.

Despite consolidation in the industry accelerating progress in this space, CTV is not immune to every data sharing challenge. There are often different restrictions around who has access to different information, leading to data disparity. The quality and quantity of first-party data by itself won’t be enough to build robust targeting capabilities for many advertisers.

The award for contextual goes to TV

To truly engage viewers, advertisers require additional points of data intelligence, such as context. TV advertising has always been contextual, but the industry’s approach has grown more sophisticated. No longer as simple as airing an ad for a food delivery service on a food-oriented channel or network, contextual targeting solutions can now process and analyse individual pieces of TV content, collating information on topic and genre to inform advertising strategies.

This need for additional data points is well illustrated by the KPIs advertisers require from their CTV campaigns. The top three were optimising reach (49%), optimising frequency (42%) and incremental reach (40%), but key requirements among advertisers also included ability to measure performance accurately at scale and transparency of metrics.

American TV networks and AVOD services are the frontrunners in this space, but with ad tech players such as Xandr rolling out contextual targeting tools for CTV inventory, the infrastructure to support it is strengthening. For audiences, this will lead to a seamless, quality viewing experience – and it’s this, in both content and advertising, that continues to attract so many consumers to CTV.

So, how did you like the show?

The complexity of cross-platform TV measurement is often underappreciated, but ad campaigns encompass multiple networks and platforms – this means data must be collated from linear, over-the-top (OTT) and CTV sources, before it’s harmonised to provide advertisers with a fast, accurate overview of performance. This is no small task, given that many of these channels are walled gardens. Legacy solutions can’t deliver on advertisers’ current needs, meaning TV measurement must evolve to meet them.

With attribution and measurement solutions attracting significant investor interest – amounting to USD$4.6bn in Q1 2021 – the industry is primed for a transformation. The leading tools for monitoring advertising performance will be the ones that can measure TV how people watch it – across time, platforms and devices.

The impending demise of third-party cookies might be prompting more advertisers to investigate CTV’s opportunities, but it’s not the primary reason behind this change. Eyeballs are now glued to CTV services, and brands are creating demand for stronger advertising capabilities, and demanding proof of performance in return. To ensure they can take full advantage of CTV, advertisers must adopt solutions that address issues with data disparity and provide advanced measurement tools for campaign performance.



Analysis from Ampere focuses on changes in the country of origin of the most popular titles on the SVoD platforms.

Historically, US content has tended to dominate on the global stage, while in individual countries, local content has often held the balance of power. But this is beginning to change. In 2017, 15 per cent of the world’s 100 most popular titles were made outside the US. Today that figure has grown to 27 per cent.

Ampere’s analysis reveals that English-speaking and European markets currently have the lowest appetite for internationally produced content, largely thanks to their heritage of strong local film and TV production. These countries generate a significant proportion of global pay-TV and OTT revenues, and by 2022, will be responsible for generating 71 per cent of OTT subscription revenue and 67 per cent of global pay TV revenue.

It’s not only production strategies that are changing. Global SVoD platforms have previously chosen to focus on local content in these markets due to their scale and strong preference for locally produced titles. But the analysis reveals that viewing preferences in these countries are starting to shift.

“It has been gradual, but our analysis shows that the audience for internationally-produced content is growing in the key revenue-generating English-speaking and European markets,” reports Rahul Patel, Senior Analyst at Ampere Analysis. “SVoD subscribers in the US, UK, Australia and Canada in particular are tuning in to content produced overseas, and the major global SVoD platforms like Netflix are driving this trend by commissioning high quality non-English language titles, and by increasing the number of foreign language titles in their catalogues. “

“The pandemic offered a boost to internationally produced content as production shutdowns and release delays led to locked-down viewers looking further afield for shows and movies to watch.”

“As the SVoD players expand geographically and continue to make high production value titles in a multitude of global markets, we expect the demand for overseas produced content to further increase,” he advises.