Nova TV has already succeeded in beating HBO Max in the number of subscribers to its video service Voyo. It is the second strongest streaming service in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

However, Disney+ entering the local market on 14 June may shuffle the ranking. According to Daniel Grunt, Chief Digital Officer in CME, which owns the Nova Group, Disney is investing the highest amounts in content production and we cannot rule out that it will dethrone Netflix globally. To find out more, read the continuation of our interview with Daniel Grunt, which follows the first part from last week.

Most TVs already have 4K resolution, some of them even 8K. Do you adjust the picture quality on Voyo accordingly?

Not at the moment. I have tested Voyo on my 4K OLED TV and I do not need any 4K source for the picture to be excellent when…

… when your TV can upscale to 4K in real time.

Exactly. The upscaling in real time on TV will get better and better as the computing capacity of TV chips will improve. That will be sufficient for ordinary viewers but of course not for some connoisseurs who will look for every pixel with a magnifying glass. When I as a common user want to relax watching a film in Full HD resolution, TV will transfer it to 4K and the experience is very good for me. We are not planning 4K resolution now but going forward, we will certainly move the Voyo Originál products to higher image quality and we have to get ready. It will be a change for the entire production chain but we will have to do it at some point.

And what about Nova’s older shows and films and series from times when there was no HD quality?

We are focusing on having everything in Full HD if possible. One of the projects on which our people are working is the improvement of the quality of older titles. Voyo has been on the market for 11 years, it has a big library including a number of old titles in SD or HD ready resolution. So now we are changing hundreds of titles each quarter to improve quality. At some point we will find out that no higher quality is available for some titles and we will just consider whether the title is interesting enough be on offer with lower image quality.

You have said that 60 percent of users watch Voyo via TV. Is that followed by a computer or a mobile device?

Then it is in principle one-to-one for mobile and laptop with mobile and its importance increasing. Logically and practically, I am convinced that watching Voyo on TV will achieve a greater percentage in the long term, mobile will also grow and the importance of laptops will decline. I will be either at home watching on a big screen or if it is occupied by another family member I may switch on the laptop. But outside, I will use my mobile – on the way to school, to work, on vacation, on weekends…

Do you have any idea for how many users Voyo is the first streaming service? You have said that Czech viewers use 1.3 streaming services per household on average. Logically, they have to use some more and some less – and consider whether it is worth paying for the less used ones.

This is exactly the reason why I have said that for us it is extremely important that people are as active as possible in our service. For this reason, one of the metrics we monitor is the amount of time spent watching our shows per week. Because the more time I spend with a service, the more satisfied I am with it and there is no reason to cut it off. But we do not know the percentage of the use of Voyo and other services as we have no way of finding it. We do not know how viewers use other services, we do not know precise numbers of their subscribers.

Do you commission independent surveys through agencies such as Ipsos or GfK?

Of course we do. There are many surveys and they are made from various perspectives and we are trying to make a big picture of the market. But you are asking about a very detailed matter. For example, we ask on a monthly basis about competitors and how users consumer Voyo – whether daily, several times a week, once a week, several times a month, once a month or not at all. Over the past few months, Voyo has seen the highest growth of any service in daily and weekly usage.

To what degree is linear content important within Voyo? I mean Nova Sport and sports broadcasting.

Linear content in general is an interesting complement but it is not an acquisition factor. It is not something to make people pay for Voyo but if they have Voyo they like using it in situations when they are not in front their TV sets. We can see that linear watching of these channels via Voyo is growing on weekends and during holidays. As for sports broadcasting, it is the most attractive from linear channels. Especially combat sports such as MMA, KSW, etc., attractive football matches, NHL and NBA.

Does it mean that for example Eurosport Player is not a competitor to you as it is a purely sporting matter?

Eurosport Player is a very narrow section. It is a very specific offer, a clearly defined target group, so we do not perceive it as a competitor at the moment.

Let us move to another issue, the Czechflix project that was intended to aggregate content of streaming services from all large Czech TV groups. You said at the DIGIMEDIA 2021 conference last year that negotiations with ČT and Prima were ongoing but that it would depend on the conditions for cooperation being advantageous for all parties. Have the discussions progressed somehow?

No, they have not.

And are they still going on?

Let us say that the intensity of the discussions is lower than it used to be.

If Czechflix is established, would you provide it with Nova’s TV content or the original production from Voyo?

It is a question I cannot answer because if there is no model of how the service should look like, what the main benefits for individual participants there will be it is hard to predict. All of the participants should provide their premium production for the service to make sense, which means ideally originals just like Voyo Originál, and another thing that works, i.e. previews of TV series.

How are the Voyo trailers around Televizní noviny (TV News) working out for you? Previously, Nova promoted evening shows on linear channels, now it also promotes selected films or series on Voyo. Do viewers watch what is promoted in the time when it is promoted?

Logically, TV is our strongest communication channel. What we communicate around Televizní noviny and in prime time works the most. We watch the service’s traffic, new signups and entries on Voyo home page at the time the trailers are running and we can see big peaks. It is an immediate effect showing the power of TV. Usually what I communicate most strongly on TV I have on the most premium positions on the home page of the service, so it is hard to tell whether the decisive factor was the trailer on TV or that a user came to Voyo and came across the show.

Is it worth it driving people away from linear broadcasting to Voyo and reducing the ad block rating?

We are not driving out those who want to watch linear TV because they are going to stay with the linear broadcasting. For people who are not sure and consider switching to another channel or paying for another service it is better to go to us rather than to somewhere else. That is why we are doing it. It is better to cannibalise ourselves than being cannibalised by someone else.

350 thousand users is quite a lot, it is a good chunk of money. Is Voyo in the black or are you still in the red?

We are still in the red.

And what is the outlook?

Our plan is really long-term, for five years, which does not end with a million users but with a higher number. There are relating investments, income and we are now above the plans in terms of revenues because we have significantly more subscribers than we planned for this time. Now we have more than 350 thousand users, which is a level we planned for the second half of this year. And I am talking about an adjusted plan because based on last year’s results, we have increased the plan for 2021-2025. The goals for the end of this year are substantially higher than we planned at the beginning of last year. It is still true that in 2025 we should generate profit. I think that if we continue at the same pace as so far we will be profitable.

Which means that at a million users you will be in the black.

Profit depends on the amount of investments in content and we can see now that the more we invest the more subscribers we get. As any digital business, we prefer growth to profit. But we can change it whenever we want. At present, our investments in content are huge. We are talking about billions of crowns so even if the income from Voyo is wonderful, investments in content production are even higher.

Do you think about offering multiple types of subscription? For example Netflix has several levels: the basic rate for a single device and SD resolution, then a version in HD for multiple devices, after that Premium in 4k. HBO Max has come with a reduced introductory price…

We will consider it in the future. Now I think it is too early because both we and the market are in the growing phase. It is much more important to acquire as many people as possible to subscribe to the service and any division into packages makes the message about the product more complicated. For me it is important that the message is as simple as possible in order to educate the market. Working with subscription packages will start to make sense when the market starts to slow down and we need to keep our subscribers or increase income.

Are you worried about inflation and that the prices of everything are going up and people will try to save money? And that entertainment will be the first thing to cut off? It is dispensable.

We will see what will happen. Practically speaking, CZK 159 per month – how many packs of cigarettes is that?

Not everyone smokes.

When I go to the pub with my friends, how many pints will I have for this amount? When I go to the cinema, for CZK 159 I would have to go there alone to watch just one film so if I take my family with me and go to the cinema to watch a single film, I will pay a multiple of what I will pay for Voyo’s library with 17 thousand hours of content and all my family can watch. So there is no problem there in my point of view. But we may need to introduce such comparative communication at some point. But I think that people would stop going to the cinema rather than unsubscribe from Voyo or Netflix.

Every time I go to the newsagent’s, subscription cards for Netflix or Voyo catch my eye. How does this method of subscription work? Is it selling well?

We introduced it during the last year in the autumn season. It was based on a simple consideration that there was still a segment of people, especially older ones, who were not used to paying online. It related much to Ordinace. We offered this subscription method to these people but it is really a minority issue. When I look at the methods of payments for Voyo, 99 percent of people use recurrent payments when the amount is deducted from their credit card.

But the subscription cards make you visible at the newsagent’s.

Exactly. It is visible and we are giving a chance to people who might be discouraged by the online payment using a credit card.

Or it may be an option to give Voyo as a gift.

Yes, this worked very well at Christmas. We sold a large number of annual packages. The Voyo brand got under people’s skin. By the way, this is one of the things that Nova managed to achieve: increase brand awareness. When you look at the market today, we are the largest together with Netflix. When you ask about a streaming service, Netflix is the first what comes to people’s mind. Voyo is second. Then there is a long pause followed by other services with single-digit shares.

We were discussing it in detail at the DIGIMEDIA conference several years ago. At that time you said that you had a large group of people tracking where Voyo’s original content appeared so that you could report it and have it blocked.

We have a team of people who are engaged in it and we are paying about three external agencies that are searching the content for us, reporting it and we then solve it. After the launch of Voyo Origiál there has been an increase and it costs us a lot of money to manage the surveillance. Yes, we are still reporting pirate copies to entities such as Uložto and they are responding with delay, often within days. And when they delete the content it reappears. If we had less activities against pirates I think that Voyo could not work well. Piracy would kill it.

Nova has the same owner as the largest IPTV service in our country, O2 TV. Are you planning any synergies? O2 TV has purchased a lot of interesting sports rights…

Yes, it is true. At the same time, Nova is selling many rights to O2 TV, in principle most of the best football leagues in Europe that run on O2 are bought from Nova. That is why we are talking about it. It is not specific to O2 TV. When we look at all advanced countries, major streaming services cooperate with all operators and large content suppliers of a particular country. So it is quite probable that Voyo will be available via these operators along with the standard offer of linear channels of all pay TV stations, along with Netflix, HBO Max and Disney+. It is a trend, it is where the market is going and we can see it everywhere.

I do not know whether O2 TV still has a video library…

Yes, it has.

Does not it make sense to replace it with Voyo if you have the same owner?

It will make sense if we manage to create an interesting concept to be proposed to users because Voyo has some value. Premium content has some value that is large and it will always be reflected in the price of the package. Be it O2 or other potential partners in future, Voyo must always have its value. With Voyo, we will never go below the cost for which it is available to users separately in the market, for which they can buy it directly. As I said a while ago, in the stage of growth we definitely do not want to provide any substantial price reductions to pander because we would reduce the perceived value of Voyo. And if Voyo has increased so much over the last year it is because people started perceiving its value.

What streaming services are you watching at home and how much time do you spend with them?

If we are talking just about streaming services, I have Voyo, Netflix, HBO Max, Amazon Prime, Europsport Player and in addition I also subscribe to Spotify for the entire family and Xbox Gold for children. And I may be paying for something else that I no longer remember.

Do you manage to watch them?

I make a selection. I am the kind of person who sits down in front of the TV at night and goes through his ritual. I am going through all of the services I am paying for unless I am watching a series. I have come to a stage when I do not watch films at home at all. I switch on TV after 9 or 10 pm and it is late to watch a film. I rather watch two or three episodes of some series that are 50 minutes long and I still have a chance to stop when the episode ends.

But If I am not in the middle of watching a show, I go through all services and quite often end up watching linear TV. I switch on something that is on, I watch from the middle, it is interrupted by ads although I know that if I make four steps and put a blue-ray disk in Xbox I could have the same thing in better quality, from the beginning and with no ads. But I still keep sitting and watching linear broadcasting because all I want is peace of mind. I think that many people will do the same in future. New users who will subscribe to a streaming service will be overwhelmed by it at first, they will watch the best for several months and then they will find out that making a decision what to watch is painful. It will annoy them to search what they have not seen yet or what is new. Even the large size of the library portfolio may be limiting if you have to make a choice.

When using competitive services, do you come across something that is better than on Voyo and that could inspire you?

We get inspired all the time, if only because we started investing significantly more in Voyo and its development last spring. I remember that when I worked at MTG (former fifty-percent owner of Prima, ed.) they had several slogans in their DNA and one of them was “copy with pride”. And it was not meant negatively at all. The point is that often it is better to take inspiration from what works in the market and is established than inventing something nobody else has because it may mean that it does not work. But it is not that we are mindlessly copying everything we like. We think a lot about why they have it this way or that way, why they have selected a particular approach and we think about how to improve it.

How many of the big streaming services do you think can make a living on the Czech market?

The general economic theory is working with the concept of an economy of three or the “Big Three”. If there is a market that has already been developed or mature, three big services can survive in it and along with them maybe some more narrowly focused ones if they keep a sharp eye on their costs. I am convinced that in the Czech market, there can be three services that will be profitable in the long term. And we have to be one of them.

One of them or number one?

We do not need to be the first, we want to be one of the top three services. For me, it is important to have a certain number of people paying us regularly and to be one of the first services that come to people’s mind when they think about signing up to a SVOD service.

Source: televizniweb.cz


The 10th HbbTV Symposium and Awards on November 9-10, 2022 in Prague, Czech Republic, will provide a unique platform to target top-level executives of the global connected TV industry with commercial and promotional activities. The HbbTV Association, which co-hosts the in-person event with the Czech Association of Commercial Television (AKTV), has compiled several attractive sponsorship packages.

“After last year’s very successful 9th HbbTV Symposium and Awards in Paris, attended by around 180 visitors, we are excited to offer the international broadcast and broadband community another great opportunity to meet, exchange the latest news and obtain first-hand insights in new products and services. Sponsors benefit from a focused target group of high-profile market players at the 10th edition of the connected TV industry’s annual key event,” said Vincent Grivet, Chair of the HbbTV Association. “I’m sure that the location in Prague, reflecting the very active and innovative HbbTV landscape in Central and Eastern Europe, will provide additional value to sponsors.”

The HbbTV Symposium and Awards 2022 will take place at the National house of Vinohrady. The prestigious neo-renaissance building, centrally located in Prague, will provide a first-class base for conference attendees, sponsors and networking.

Details on the sponsoring packages at the HbbTV Symposium and Awards 2022 and the preceding preview and demo events can be found in the Call for Sponsors. Interested companies are encouraged to secure their commercial arrangements quickly as the opportunities are limited, ensuring great visibility for the participating partners. Early bird offers with reduced rates are available until May 15, 2022.

Contact details for sponsoring
Mr. Andrea M. Michelozzi, Dime Comunicaciones, Tel: +34 (606) 516 106, email andrea@dimecomunica.com

The HbbTV Symposium and Awards 2022 targets platform operators, broadcasters, advertisers and adtechs, standards organisations and technology companies, offering first-hand insights into the latest and most innovative services available to viewers, operators and advertisers.

The HbbTV Symposium will also host the 5th edition of the HbbTV Awards, featuring a wide range of categories designed to acclaim best practice and excellence in the HbbTV community. Details on the categories and participation will be announced in due course.
About the HbbTV Association
Hybrid broadcast broadband TV (or “HbbTV”) is a global initiative developing a specification enabling the delivery of advanced and interactive TV and entertainment services to consumers through a combined use of both broadcast and broadband networks. The HbbTV specification is developed by industry leaders to improve the video experience of consumers on connected TV sets, set-top boxes and multiscreen devices. The HbbTV specification uses elements of existing specifications from other standards including OIPF, CEA, DVB, MPEG-DASH and W3C. With the incorporation of activities from the Open IPTV Forum (OIPF) in 2014 and Smart TV Alliance in 2016, HbbTV is able to address service providers and technology suppliers for IPTV services as well as the combined scope of broadcast and over-the-top (OTT) services.

HbbTV is organised as a non-profit association registered in Switzerland and has around 80 members which include all global TV manufacturers, the large European broadcasters and TV platforms as well as a vast array of global technology and chipset vendors. More information: www.hbbtv.org

Contact HbbTV Association:
Angelo Pettazzi
Chair HbbTV Marketing and Education Working Group (MEWG)
email: angelo.pettazzi@mediaset.it
Tel: +39 02 2514 8355

Press Contact:
Thomas Fuchs
Fuchs Media Consult GmbH
email: tfuchs@fuchsmc.com
Tel: +49 171 4483 168

About the Czech Association of Commercial Television
The Czech Association of Commercial Television (AKTV) was formed in 2017 as an association of terrestrial television broadcasting operators with the goal of defending, supporting and promoting the common interests of commercial broadcasters in the Czech Republic. The founding members of the Association are the Nova, Prima and Óčko television networks. More information: www.aktv.cz

Contact Czech Association of Commercial Television:
Marie Fianová
AKTV Secretary
email marie.fianova@aktv.cz
Tel: +420 724 442 935


eGrp campaigns bring greater reach and improved affinity, especially to clients willing to address a younger target group, describes Petr Hatlapatka from Media Club.

At the beginning of 2022, the media agency Media Club included a portion of online video space (digital eGRPs) in TV packages, expecting maximisation of reach and improved affinity of campaigns in a selected target group. “For example, for a healthy food product targeting women aged 18-30, we had a total of 795 GRPs in February, of which 3.3% were eGRPs. Their affinity to the target group was 260% better,” says Petr Hatlapatka, Head of Online Sales in Media Club.

Data from TV and online campaigns are assessed jointly in a single software thanks to AdCross measurement. We asked Petr Hatlapatka about his first experience with eGRPs.

Prima included digital eGRPs in sales last year as well. Can you compare the interest in eGRPs year on year?

Last year, it was a trial stage of our eGRP sales, so the comparison is pointless. However, the project of joint TV and online advertising measurement AdCross has been developed with Nielsen for more than two years. Since last November and December, we have made the results available in AdCross in test mode. Media agencies thus could watch certain campaigns in AdCross to see how the system worked before going live this January.

And if you were to assess your experience with eGRP in the first quarter?

Clients with younger target groups are interested in eGRP campaigns. In addition, we can see an unplanned effect of eGRP. Click-through URL is added to video spots, showing the size of a visitor group coming from Prima’s websites. Clients can work with it further, e.g. using retargeting.

The average share of eGRPs in Media Club campaigns in this first quarter was 1% according to the data you have published. But for younger target groups, the share is higher. How high is it?

At most it is about 5%. eGRP is profitable especially for clients targeting the 15-35 age group. In the 35-55 age group, which is strong in TV rating, the addition to the total reach is not that high. The affinity gets improved but the additional reach does not increase much. The 15-35 age group’s online affinity is up to 100-200 percent higher.

Does the reach growth in campaigns comprising eGRPs correlate to the reach growth? Do both values increase similarly?

Affinity improves with a higher number of eGRPs, which has a positive impact on the aggregate results of the campaign. When a TV campaign is strong, it can have widespread reach. Campaigns with a higher number of eGRPs clearly show that the combination of online and TV will reach weaker TV viewers. Thanks to eGRP, the reach of the target group may be higher.

The only source generating eGRPs is the iPrima.cz website. Or are there any other websites?

At the moment, it is predominantly iPrima.cz that is included in the eGRP sale. For the future, we are planning to include CNNPrima.cz but it has not been involved yet. In April, we should launch eGRPs in mobile applications. You have to take into consideration that any such step is rather demanding because content has to be equipped with measuring codes. We want to increase inventory to include advertising in IPTV going forward. Yet the implementation is very complicated. Realistically, such an expansion could occur in the autumn.

How could inventory increase with both mobile applications and IPTV?

We cannot estimate this yet because we do not know what solution IPTV operators will choose for placing advertisements. In the most ideal scenario, the increase could be up to double. But this will not happen this year. It will grow gradually depending on how successful we will be in the implementation of individual operators.

You have stated that from the following year you consider increasing the share of eGRPs in the joint sales with TV. Will this be a blanket increase or just for selected target groups?

We would increase the share just for certain target groups; doing it across the board does not make sense. Now the share is up to 3% and varies by client. Clients with younger target groups show a higher share.

Can you imagine a double-digit share of eGRPs?

It would make sense for some clients as affinity improves dramatically. It is a matter of negotiating the composition of the bundle with a client.

For what types of videos are eGRP campaigns showed?

TV videos or videos prepared for online only have a great advantage that they are made professionally and that we as a broadcaster have a full control over them. Clients are guaranteed safety and quality of view, which is difficult with user-generated videos. Clients then wonder where their ad is showing up. For example, we are able to prevent ads for alcohol from appearing on children’s programmes, or from appearing to users under the age of 18, whatever content they are watching. At present, if a client does not want their ads to appear in videos relating to the war in Ukraine, we are able to exclude the content at the level of specific videos.

Did the video advertising market show a steady upward trend in this years first quarter?

The video advertising in the first quarter was growing although part of the quarter was affected by the conflict in Ukraine. A number of clients delayed or rescheduled their campaigns, which is reflected in figures and the growth may seem quite low. Therefore, we do not consider this quarter to be indicative. The situation is similar to the first two months of Covid-19.

At the meeting with clients, you were talking about important trends in the TV advertising development, mainly the expected decline of linear TV and growth of video on demand. How can these trends be reflected in the proportion of eGRPs in campaigns in the medium term?

I estimate that it may go up to a 20% limit. Clients are those who should get nervous about the rating trends in the first place. If we look at it with common sense, most of the 10 million Czechs spend some time in front of the TV screen – older viewers more, younger viewers divide their time between TV and SVOD. For example, out of three hours of viewing they devote an hour a day to a SVOD service and two hours to TV. But on a SVOD service, a client will buy no campaign. And if in theory all TV viewers start behaving this way, the number of available GRPs of TV advertising will fall by a third. Clients who build their marketing and business plans on TV will suddenly have a problem to buy sufficient GRPs because GRPs will be reduced in general. Broadcasters can cover the loss of advertising revenue with subscriptions. The problem will be felt primarily by clients.

Source: mediaguru.cz


Do you know how today’s TV drives brands?

Egta and The Global TV Group asked 23 CEOs, Director-Generals and Presidents of TV companies and ad sales companies to share their views on the many facets of today’s TV. Some aspects are widely recognised, others are yet to be discovered.
These key insights are now freely available in a unique 28-page slide deck, containing video testimonials, figures, quotes, cases, and more.

Download the compilation and discover first-hand how media industry leaders champion the power of today’s TV – and share what tomorrow’s TV has in store for us.



Research in the Visegrad Four countries found that the public supports EU measures on media freedom.

The first comprehensive survey of public attitudes towards media freedom in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia shows that 52% of people are concerned about the state of media freedom in their country. 71% of respondents support stronger national legislation to protect media independence and 59% of respondents agree with greater EU powers in protecting media freedom.

The survey also shows large regional differences. While attitudes towards media freedom in the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia are basically comparable, in Hungary, where the ruling party controls most of the country’s media, support for editorial autonomy and independence of public service media was significantly lower, according to the survey.

Compared to the other V4 countries, the Czech Republic has the highest proportion of people who consider media independence an important value (86%), the highest proportion of those who think that media owners should not interfere with editorial autonomy (62%), but also the lowest proportion of those who express concern about the state of media freedom (47%), and the lowest proportion of those who agree with economic support of the media by the state (25%, half as many as in Poland).

Key findings:

  • Concerns about media freedom across the V4 countries. 52% of respondents expressed concern about the current state of media freedom (63% in Poland, 49% in Slovakia, 48% in Hungary and 47% in the Czech Republic).
  • Greater understanding of media independence is expressed by those who rely more on online sources for information about political events. The survey found that people who read online news content are more likely to consider the values related to media freedom important. In Hungary and Poland, frequent reading of printed newspapers is associated with less positive views of media freedom and independence.
  • Younger generations are less concerned than older people. In most of the V4 countries, young people are relatively less concerned about media freedom and independence. In Hungary, only 36% of 18-24 year olds expressed concern, compared to 61% in Poland. In Slovakia, the figure drops to 39%.
  • Media freedom has become a deeply politicised issue. When asked whether they were very concerned about media freedom, 89% of the supporters of the Hungarian Democratic Coalition answered in the affirmative, while only 10% of Fidesz supporters expressed concern. In Poland, only 34% of PiS supporters consider media freedom to be a serious problem, while 90% of opposition supporters say they are concerned about it. In the Czech Republic, supporters of ANO or the far-right SPD are again much less likely to consider the values on which media freedom is based to be important than supporters of other parties.

23% of Slovaks believe that the state of media freedom has improved over the last five years, which is the highest percentage of all V4 countries. This opinion is more common among voters of OLANO (37%) and the PS/SPOLU coalition (51%), while only 8% of SMER voters agree with this opinion. Among the V4 nations, Slovaks are the most supportive of EU sanctions against countries where governments interfere with media freedom (64%).

90% of Polish Coalicja Obywatelska voters are “concerned” about the current state of media freedom, 52% are “very concerned” (top of the scale). 34% of Prawo i Sprawedliwość voters are concerned (42% are not concerned), 7% are very concerned. 87% of Koalicja Obywatelska voters are against the government’s influence on public media news compared to only 47% of PiS voters.

When asked if they were “very concerned” about media freedom, 89% of the supporters of the Hungarian Democratic Coalition answered in the affirmative compared to only 10% of Fidesz supporters. Media freedom is “absolutely important” for only 34% of Fidesz voters, but for 89% of Democratic Coalition voters.

The survey was initiated by the Editorial Independence Council in cooperation with the Czech National Committee of the International Press Institute and with the support of Bakala Foundation. It showed how political and generational divisions and the way people consume media significantly shape attitudes towards press freedom in individual countries.

About the survey

The survey was carried out from 1 to 17 February 2022 by Median, combining online panel surveys and telephone interviews. The total size of the sample was 4,069 respondents (aged 18+). The survey was initiated by the Editorial Independence Council in cooperation with the Czech National Committee of the International Press Institute and with the support of Bakala Foundation.

Source: mediaguru.cz


For the first quarter of this year, the volume of TV advertising GRPs was almost unchanged compared to the same period last year.

The total volume of TV advertising GRPs delivered during the first quarter of this year remained almost at the same level as in the comparable period last year. It was down 0.5% in the first quarter of this year, according to Nielsen Admosphere monitoring data. The result applies to both TV spots and sponsorships.

The TV market thus did not experience any significant fluctuations in the first quarter. As we have already reported, the volume of monitored TV advertising investment then increased by 9% year-on-year.

Media Club (Prima, Óčko, Barrandov and several other thematic stations) and Nova Group (Nova Group stations) continue to hold the highest shares of the number of GRPs delivered. Atmedia’s representation improved the most year-on-year.

Share of business networks in GRP deliveries, 1Q/2022

Source: mediaguru.cz / Nielsen

Source: mediaguru.cz


Most media types posted double-digit increases in the first quarter, according to Nielsen Admosphere monitoring.

The volume of monitored investments in Czech media in the first three months of this year exceeded CZK 21 billion, which is 12 % up  year-on-year. The majority of media types posted double-digit increases in the first quarter, Nielsen Admosphere monitoring further shows.

Outdoor advertising (+35 %) and radio advertising (+23 %) recorded the highest increases compared to Q1 2021. However, print advertising (+15 %) and TV advertising (+9 %) also thrived.

Internet advertising is not included in the overview because the monitoring only takes into account some forms of internet advertising.

Source: Nielsen Admosphere

The data for March does not yet indicate lower advertiser activity in response to the war conflict in Ukraine. However, it is likely that the suspension of advertising activity will be reflected in next month’s data.

Source: mediaguru.cz


Nova TV’s Voyo video service experienced an exceptionally successful year. At the beginning of 2021, it announced an ambitious plan to attract a million customers within five years. At that time, Nova only had about 60 thousand customers in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. It surpassed its annual goal in the autumn and now the number of users exceeds 350 thousand. By the way, it is more than the global player HBO Max has in the Czech Republic.

How come Voyo attracted so much attention and how does it plan to maintain the high share in the increasingly competitive market? We have asked Daniel Grunt, Chief Digital Officer of CME, which owns Nova and Voyo.

This year marks a turning point for streaming services in the Czech Market. HBO GO changed to HBO Max, in June Disney+ is coming, the merger of Discovery+ and HBO Max is drawing near, and Voyo is expanding its original production. Which of the changes do you find the most interesting for your market?

Probably the most interesting thing is the concentration of developments this year. There are relatively many launches. They will include services that you have not mentioned and that will probably be less visible because we will not be too important for Europe within their strategy. So definitely, the most interesting thing is that the market, which started growing relatively remarkably two years ago, is getting extremely dense. But what is positive is that we are at the beginning of the growth wave and the market may up to double by 2025 or 2026. So there is much to select from.

I take the onset of competitive services positively as they promote the existence of streaming services in general. It will help significantly to educate the market and it may also accelerate penetration of households with the services. I expect the penetration to range between 24 and 26 percent in Czech households this year. That would be five percentage points more than last year. And I definitely think that this year will make households that have some experience with a streaming service subscribe to other services and as a result, they will pay for multiple services.

How many services does an average Czech household use?

We have originally expected that this year it will be 1.3 services per household on average but I think that it may easily be more. When I compare it with markets that are about four years ahead of us, such as the UK or Scandinavian countries, they have 2.5-3 services per household. And they are expected to grow to four. In the US, which has a specific market, it is more than four services per household. I estimate the number to be 2.5-3 services per household in 2025, both in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Much of this will relate to the growth in household penetration of receivers capable of using these services. But it will be quite an interesting area for growth both for us and for global players.

But the number of streaming services that households will be able to afford will depend on the price.

That is true but the price is quite reasonable in my opinion. All prices range between 150 and 200 crowns. It is the basic input price that I find acceptable for Czech and Slovak households. Our target is that penetration of households with VOD services may be over 40% in 2025.

The price is one thing but the time users can devote to streaming services is another. If you have three services plus linear broadcasting, you can hardly watch all of them. In addition, with Voyo you  cannibalise the time viewers can watch Nova and its thematic channels.

Time will be the most precious commodity we will compete for. It is interesting that if I look at video consumption for the last five years, the accumulated time devoted to this activity has been growing strongly all the time. It is not that people replace one way of video consumption with another. At least in our region we can see that linear TV has still be growing a bit but there is a simultaneous rather aggressive onset of another way of consumption, be it AVOD (free online archives), SVOD (pay streaming services) or short videos. It is more about people cutting off their free active time in favour of this more passive entertainment.

Was it caused by Covid-19 when there was nothing much to do? Can it change now?

No doubt Covid has initiated it but in general, the video consumption growth started far before the pandemic. Covid has accelerated the shift as people were not able to meet so much, they were staying at home more. When you look at the figures for linear TV in the post-Covid era, they are not falling, they are still very much up, and that does not apply just to older viewers but also to younger people who spend around an hour and a half a day in front of the TV. I think that this is enough, it is still the strongest source of video entertainment for them. Of course, we will compete for people’s attention and time with casual gaming and other entertainment activities. The most precious commodity will truly be viewers’ free time that we will compete for.

What will it mean to linear TV?

We enhanced Voyo to expand our portfolio of potential entertainment for viewers. In Western Europe we can see that the number of people not watching linear TV slightly declines to the benefit of non-linear services and we need to occupy this market sector in order to compensate the falling interest in linear TV on the streaming side when it occurs. By doing so, we are opening a new way of our work monetisation. We collect money directly from customers and the sum should be even more interesting in future. There will always be a combination of linear and non-linear broadcasting but what matters is the proportion. For us it is extremely important that viewers spend maximum time within our portfolio of services. Voyo becomes the first gateway in the video distribution chain we have. This means that the most recent and premium things go to Voyo first and we are not planning to include them in linear broadcasting yet.

Does this mean that the series Ordinace v růžnové zahradě will not come back to linear TV screens?

We are not planning that, Ordinace has been produced exclusively for Voyo and the plan is long-term.

Not even in two years?

We do not plan on it.

And what about Voyo Originál programmes, such as the miniseries Roubal, Guru

That is possible. Maybe in two years. But Ordinace has been produced just for Voyo so far.

Nova’s core business is linear broadcasting now. Do you assume that this will change at some point in the future and non-linear services will become the main source of income while linear broadcasting will be a supplement?

I sincerely do not believe that this will happen in the foreseeable future, by which I mean the next 10 or 15 years. It has to do with our nature. A man is a lazy creature and the need for more active video consumption will saturate to some degree over time. I can see it on my own example. After many months of using SVOD services whichever of them it is, I spend some time searching what to watch and I get tired of that. So I switch on linear TV and watch it. And it will be like that, there will always be a certain combination. Since linear TV is strong in our region I think that it will not change in the near future. But it will definitely be an interesting supplement.

Let us move to numbers. You have long not commented on the number of subscribers and suddenly 350 thousand appeared on LinkedIn in February. What is the number of subscribers now? Do you have half a million of them?

All I can tell is that we continue growing nicely and have more than 350 thousand users. We are not going to announce the numbers of our subscribers too frequently. Our competitors are not doing it either.

How come you published the number in February? Was it your common decision or did it happen by chance?

We wanted to show off. When we started making changes in Voyo at the beginning of last year, we had about 60 thousand subscribers, so the leap was huge. It was our assurance and celebration of the work of the people involved. Basically nobody outside Nova believed that we could manage that. This related to the fact that the goal we had announced, a million subscribers, was enormous. Everyone was thinking that those were further promises… And when it became clear that our people, who spend all their time working on Voyo, had such great results, we wanted to show them after the first year. But I do not think that the frequency of publishing figures will be higher than once a year. Even that is quite frequent in my opinion because our competitors do not disclose their local figures at all. For us it was important to show that we managed to achieve some results and were going in the right direction.

But you will disclose the numbers in Nova’s annual report, won’t you?

I do not think it is necessary.

How come that 300 thousand people have subscribed to Voyo within a year? Is it due to the series Ordinace v růžové zahradě that you moved from TV to the online service or does it have another reason?

It is a huge combination of thousands of small factors. To mention the most important ones, the key factor for us was the maximum focus on the fact that we take ourselves seriously and that it is a priority across the firm. We set up a path to follow and we did not hysterically move to one side or the other when things were not going well or we were not sure. And another reason is that we have increased our marketing team as much as possible. It is relatively large in all elements, ranging from acquisition marketing to the retention, PR and creative components. We have staffed the team excellently and learnt over time what works and what does not. We have introduced a data team and started investing time, energy and sources in business intelligence, data and CRM. We have moved from a situation when we were pushing the marketing investments and content to some black box, from which we had some output and we had to think hard what it was to a very detailed insight into how people behave and what they watch. We can segment them and thanks to this we can offer them better content and maintain their attention. This naturally relates to another pillar, which is content.

The most famous is probably Ordinace v růžové zahradě that moved to Voyo. This must have been a turning point in the decision-making of a number of customers whether to pay for your service.

Yes, the move of Ordinace to Voyo was very helpful last year. It is the most famous Czech series that was on screens for 15 or 16 years. During the last season on TV, each episode was watched by nearly a million viewers. As for Voyo audience, it helped us much. I think that it helped us in terms of communication and image. It was also a signal to the market that we take it seriously when we take a successful series and move it from TV to Voyo. At the same time, we increasingly invest in linear TV creation, the quality of which has grown substantially. Investments are tens of percent higher than years ago and this helps Voyo. If something works well on TV and we can provide it to people without ads and earlier than on TV, it works extremely well.

Does it work the other way round when you produce something just for Voyo? How is the Voyo Originál series doing?

At the end of last year, we launched the first Voyo Originál miniseries, Případ Roubal, which helped us enormously in terms of image. We have created something that has high quality and it was nominated for the Czech Lion (Český lev) award. It is perfect, we have attracted new faces and authors that have not worked for Nova so far. Which is by the way another great benefit of Voyo for the Nova Group because through Voyo, we are attracting creators to Nova who have not worked with us before. We meet very creative people, be it faces, directors, scriptwriters, producers or production groups.

Apart from Roubal, Love Island also worked well. When I look at the most watched titles in April, they include Voyo Originál. We also have a very good acquisition, for example Servant of the People starring Volodymyr Zelenskyy works very well. We have focused on European acquisitions, Scandinavian and British crime dramas and national versions of Wife Swap from other countries, e.g. Slovakia or Australia. I believe that the content mix is very good and as we know our viewers and communicate with them we substantially increase their activities in our service. On average, they watch Voyo 12 hours a week. And 90% of subscribers use Voyo at least once a week. Our users are thus very active, which could mean in the long term that they will stay with us for a long time.

What do they watch most?

The most watched shows naturally include Ordinace. Roubal and Guru are still working well. What is nice about this platform is that it is not just like TV where you launch something and people have to watch it in that moment and do not come back to it. As we released Roubal at the end of the last year, Guru at the beginning of this year and Házená now, we are still on top.

And what is the difference between the number of viewers of Ordinace and the miniseries mentioned? Is there a big gap?

It is nearly one to one. Really a great portion of people watch these things. Leaving aside Ordinace and other Voyo Originál production, the most successful TV shows work the best – Wife Swap, Ulice or Servant of the People. From time to time, reality shows make it into the TOP 10. Voyo Originál shows seem to be a big motivation to subscribe to Voyo.

Who is the typical Voyo viewer? Do you have any surveys?

To be honest, we want to keep the registration form as simple as possible, so we do not ask too many precise questions and we do not have detailed socio-demographic data. But we collect the data from several sources. Of course, we have quality research studies, brand tracking that we commission on a regular basis. What content people watch is what defines their socio-demographic and economic status. And then we have a clearly defined target group that we seek to reach and we tailor the way we communicate and the content we buy and produce accordingly.

The core of our target group are young families, in my point of view thirty to forty year olds, those are viewers we target. We are not focusing on very young people and will not focus on them in the long term. We will leave them to Netflix, it is no point competing with Netflix in this segment. One of the reasons is that this target group is rather instable. It fluctuates depending on where the relevant content appears. We tend to go for people who are more stable, more loyal and there are more of them. If we were to expand our target group, we would go for older than thirty and forty year olds. There is a huge potential, the greatest in fact.

Children’s content also works very well, which relates to our focus on young families. We have invested relatively large amounts in the acquisition of children’s content and we take pride in the fact that it is completely dubbed into Czech. As such, there is a clear pre-selection. Parents do not have to worry that something inappropriate will pop up when their child is watching Voyo. Which cannot be ruled out on YouTube or other platforms. Another thing is that children understand the shows because they are in Czech.

Do you have any original shows for children?

If I think about our production plan until the end of 2024, I do not recall anything focused especially on children. We focus more on families.

When talking about children, how much will the arrival of Disney+ shake up the market?

We will see, it is hard to predict. Disney+ is definitely a strong service. Globally, it is number two after Netflix.

Do you offer anything from The Walt Disney Company?

I do not think so. It might not be possible as big TV groups, especially the US ones, started withdrawing their content from all platforms over the last two years to keep it for themselves. Disney+ is definitely an extremely strong player, it is a strong brand, it has a very strong content and it focuses on a similar target group as we do. So yes, it is a significant competitor.

Bigger than Netflix or HBO?

In my personal opinion as a man who has been analysing it for some time, I think that Disney+ will be substantially stronger than HBO. It can be seen globally. Disney+ has skyrocketed in the last two years and is already number two behind Netflix. I think that in the long term, it can easily be number one as investments of The Walt Disney Company in content are the largest in the world. I think that it has spent over 33 billion dollars on content acquisition and production just this year.

Which means that it will shake up the Czech market.

I think that its arrival will increase visibility of SVOD services in general. I have long thought, and I said that when joining CME, that the market will stabilise in the following years with the top three including Netflix, Disney+ and Voyo as a local complement to the two biggest players. If you look across the globe, HBO has been here for a very long time and the newly emerging brands have beaten it quite easily. Disney+ will be the most visible one out of the new players coming to the market this year. I strongly believe that our focus and strategy betting on local content, faces and topics and annual investments in Voyo Origiál should help it. If you look at the attendance of Czech cinemas, original Czech films always report much higher attendance and rating no matter how good a Marvel movie, Star Wars movie, or anything else is released. People here will always want a higher degree of quality local content with local faces. I believe that over time, the big platforms will make one or two local series a year but we will make ten, and in the following years up to twenty or thirty a year. I believe that the two major global services in the Czech Republic will be Netflix and Disney+ and we as the local leader will form the top three with them.

Is it true that for Disney+, HBO Max or Netflix the Czech market is not big enough and if we compare it with Poland, for example, there are many more original Polish series on Netflix than local production from the Czech Republic?

Poland is many times bigger. And what is specific to us is that for Czech viewers we have to dub the shows. People here are not accustomed to subtitles, we can see that on Voyo as well. The Czech market requires dubbing most of all markets where Voyo operates. Slovakia a bit less and other countries of our operation – Romania, Bulgaria and Slovenia – make do with subtitles.

Do you offer films in Slovak in Slovakia or just in Czech?

It is a combination. Usually what we buy for the Czechs we buy for Slovakia if it makes sense and there are free rights. This relates to acquisitions – when Czech dubbing is made in Prague, we use it. As for Voyo Originál, we have had no exclusively Slovak content but we are planning it for the next year.

Will you offer it on Czech Voyo then?

Yes, we will.

Is there any difference between the Slovak and Czech Voyo version?

For users, there is no difference except that we are more violet here and they are more turquoise there but otherwise, it is the same in terms of products. The way they consume content is also similar. But Slovakia, which is more focused on emotions, requires more romantic, emotional series. They work better there than in the Czech Republic. Here, crime dramas work extremely well. If we go farther to the Balkans, the differences in viewer preferences are bigger.

We have talked about users, about the number of subscribers, about dubbing – but what about the way people watch Voyo? Do you know what devices they use to watch it and what is the most frequent way?

People increasingly watch Voyo on TV screens, which is desirable for me because when they watch the largest screen at home where it is most comfortable and convenient it means that it is important to them. Nearly 60 percent of Voyo users are watching us through the TV screen.

Source: televizniweb.cz


Marek Singer has been the head of FTV Prima Group since 2008. but only after fourteen long years can he be happy that Prima’s channels are catching up with their biggest competitor – the Nova group – in terms of viewership. In certain viewer target groups, they even surpassed TV Nova in March. 

“What seemed impossible years ago is now a reality,” says Marek Singer, the apparently satisfied Prima Group’s CEO in a large interview for Forbes.

The seasoned manager cites viewership of CNN Prima News, the news channel that will celebrate two years on the market on 3 May, as one of the highlights of the recent achievements in addition to the new channels Prima Show and Star. However, CNN Prima News critics often compare it to misinformation channels.

Prima’s head counters the criticism, telling them that “It is good to peek out from one’s social bubble from time to time. If we stop comparing ourselves to the opinions of others, it is the first step to fundamentalism. Ant that would be a big problem to our liberal democracy in my opinion.”

The fifty-four-year-old seasoned manager isn’t just concerned with viewership that he wants to support with a new series Pálava in the autumn. He has negotiated with IPTV operators on the ban on ad-skipping in catch-up viewing or the establishment of a new platform AdCross, which measures the aggregated reach of TV and digital ads.

Your ratings have been growing; last year, you grew for the fourth year in a row in the 15+ target group to 25.18 percent and on an annual basis, you were closely behind the channels of Nova Group, which unlike you targets viewers aged 15-54. In Prima’s commercial group of viewers aged 15-69, you managed to defeat Nova in the fourth week of March…

For the fourteen years I have been sitting in this chair I have had a dream to catch up with Nova in ratings and the dream came true in March. In our target group of economically active people, we even managed to outperform it. What seemed to be impossible years ago that is now a reality.

And will you also be successful on an annual basis this year?

That remains to be seen, of course. But trends are clear, the two groups are converging. It is certainly a never-ending struggle, Nova is naturally not going to let it go. Several years ago, we were a clear number two in terms of viewership share but now we are equal competitors.

What was the main driver of viewership growth? Did Covid-19 make an impact?

Covid-19 has made an impact on the entire TV market. When people were staying at home, they were logically watching more and the pandemic was a topic they were interested in. The interest in TV was higher and streaming platforms were also not put aside.

Now, the viewership of live broadcasting is coming back to the pre-Covid level and we expect it to go on falling because people are using more and more various Czech and global video services allowing them to watch shows whenever they want.

And in this situation, we managed to close the gap on competition through the combination of improved programming, new channels such as Prima Show and Star and the high-quality programme mix. And what also played its role was the viewership of CNN Prima News which has grown in this current crisis time. The combination of all of these factors has made up the desired effect.

The rating of CNN Prima News is above two percent after nearly two years from its launch. Is that a good result for news TV?

The share of 2.4 percent in March in TG 15+ is a good result, the breaking point in terms of profitability is 1.5 percent rating combined with the web’s contribution. It is a standard evolution of news TV, it is growing most in a crisis. The news TV channel ČT24 has the same experience, it was rising with every crisis.

In general we can say that an increased rating during a crisis will not fall to a pre-crisis level after it is over but settles somewhat higher. When the conflict in Ukraine ends, CNN Prima News will be a little higher than before in terms of viewership. And I believe that the development will go on in this direction.

So now CNN Prima News will earn its keep?

Yes, it will. Operating news TV costs hundreds of millions of crowns a year but at the current ratings combined with our website readership it is already earning its keep. We are in the black at zero in the model at 1.5 percent viewership as I have mentioned.

But we are not doing a news platform to generate a high profit. Watching news has a positive effect on viewer loyalty to the entire group of channels.

How does your cooperation with CNN in the US work? Are you in a daily contact?

The cooperation works on the basis of a standard relationship between a licensor and a licensee. There is an editorial board meeting approximately once in three months, assessing progress and recommending what we could improve. But it is not a daily contact, although they monitor our work very carefully.

When we managed to respond to the current war conflict faster than our competitors, we received a commendation immediately. They are aware in CNN that if you succeed in responding so quickly, the positive effect is felt in the following period. We were very pleased by the commendation. After all, CNN has grown up on such situations…

Do you have other objectives relating to the viewership of the news channel?

It can always be better and we definitely want to go further. But we have to be realistic. If we achieve forty or fifty percent of the viewership of ČT24, we will have achieved the first objective we have defined. If it gets better, we will not be angry at all.

Do you also perceive negative reactions to CNN Prima News? Your critics often compare you with the misinformation scene…

… which is very amusing and sad at the same time. We always want to provide all facts and views of all relevant parties. Of course, all editorial team is affected by the criticism because it is not pleasant to be accused as such.

But I always remember the time when we started CNN Prima News and I asked people from CNN who helped us set up everything how we would know that we were doing the news channel right. And their answer was: when “everyone would curse you”. When nobody is talking about you, you are either boring or not getting to the heart of the matter.

When some users of a social network criticise us that we favour one of the parties to the dispute and users of another network think that we are siding with the other party, it is good. It means that opinions of multiple parties were expressed. That is right because individual social bubbles prefer their views. And they point out to a single issue that they do not like out of the wide range of views we cover and they label us for that.

What would you say to your critics?

I would urge them to peak out of their social bubble, it is a good thing to do from time to time. If we stop comparing ourselves with the views of other people, it is the first step to the fundamentalism. And that would be a great problem for our liberal democracy in my opinion.

Of course, in the period of an aggressive war conflict, there is just one party that is in the right. But what is the solution? What are the consequences of the conflict, what would that mean for our economy – that is not black and white. There are always several ways to face the situation.  And people should know all options. It is all about plurality of views. That is the core of the freedom of speech.

Let us turn to the business policy. What resonated with the public space at the beginning of the year was your requirement to ban ad-skipping in time-shifted viewing on IPTV. You had a dispute with O2 TV and there was a threat that your programmes will be removed from its offering. In the end, the matter was postponed to 1 June. What is going on now?

We are finalising technical conditions with all operators because at this stage, it is mainly a technological challenge. There is no single standard, each operator has its own video platform.

We are intensively working on fine-tuning of manuals and possible scenarios for four alternatives of how exactly we want the ban on ad skipping to be implemented. But it is not just all about us not wanting people to skip ads in time-shifted viewing.

What exactly do you want then?

There is a clear view of “Television 2.0” which is based on a foreign model. Our current local standard that on various video services you press a button to skip an ad is annoying in general. You cannot find the precise start of a show etc.

Yes, viewers will have to watch about a half of advertisements (about three minutes) compared to live broadcasting because we have to pay for the content we have produced. The growing popularity of ad skipping starts to be a crucial problem and we cannot ignore it.

Now we are in a period when both operators and we have a lot of work to get ready for the transition on 1 June.

And have you reached an agreement with all of them? Including O2 TV?

Yes, we have reached an agreement. We are no longer discussing whether it happens but how to do it.

You provided operators with four alternatives containing, for example, a certain compulsory block of advertisements of various lengths that cannot be skipped or an option that operators can “buy themselves out” and pay you for keeping ads off their platforms… 

We have provided these alternatives because we are aware that any individual platform has its own degree of flexibility to make changes in the system.

Nobody wishes to make viewers angry. Our aim is to ensure that we will receive at least a minimum level of income while giving operators a chance to make their users understand when they can watch something and when they can skip something.

The rewinding and fast-forwarding of content has got the green light, it has been a standard for us.

The problem is that people skip all ads while rewinding and fast-forwarding content. And they might not be aware that we receive no money for having ads set up in shows, we get money when the ads are watched.

But operators argue that they are paying you for content.

I understand that. But if you compare how much they pay us for the option of time-shifted viewing compared to what is usual across Europe, it is relatively ridiculous. And that is the problem. Operators’ fees did not reflect the premium rights.

Moreover, foreign pay platforms used the obligation to pay for such rights to broadcasters and created premium packages of their services. They are offering ad-supported content and an ad-free package and the differences cost several Euros. This did not happen here due to competition or other reasons. And as a result the current discomfort is higher.

We also want to give our viewers a chance to watch our content without ads or with a limited number of them and we are looking for a fair business model with operators.

In the terrestrial broadcasting it is the other way around. You are paying to operators to get your content to viewers.

The Czech terrestrial broadcasting is a complete anomaly. I think that a terrestrial broadcasting operator will gradually transform into a certain hybrid form with IPTV as this is the future. It will take years but it will happen. The fact that a certain portion of population has TV for free is an anomaly that will gradually disappear.

Is terrestrial broadcasting heading for a fee?

I think so. But this is rather a question for České Radiokomunikace. I assume that they will come up with such a business model one day. People will not content themselves with live broadcasting only, i.e. linear TV, they will want additional services. And if you want to provide them, the terrestrial model is not sufficient.

Is all this we are talking about the reason for creating the new platform AdCross for measuring total ad video, i.e. monitoring the aggregate reach of ads not only on TV but also in the digital environment?

Yes, it is, to some extent. There will be fewer and fewer people in linear TV as is the case abroad because we are copying foreign trends with some delay in the Czech Republic. People abroad watch TV content more and more when they want, i.e. via various services, and less and less via linear broadcasting.

To keep the quality of our content, we also need to receive money for advertising in non-linear, non-live broadcasting. We are at the cutting edge of development in Europe in this effort. For example, in the UK, cross-media measurement has just started.

And how do other players in the market view AdCross?

Our business partners’ reactions are positive. They are aware that there is no other way going forward. We are at the beginning, operating in a pilot mode.

Everything has been going on since the start of the year, we have been selling some campaigns this way but the volume is still small. There are still more technological developments to come, we need to set up everything with all operators. With them, we are now dealing more with easing the restrictions on ad skipping.

So when will it be on your agenda?

This year. Cross-media measuring will become a standard.

Should not this be a job for the Association of Television Organizations (ATO)?

In theory, yes, it should. On the other hand, ATO has members for whom advertising is the key source of income as well as members for whom it is not so because specifically Česká televize does not live on advertising and so it is not its priority. But Česká televize is engaged in the project as it wants to use the cross-media measurement for measuring the total impact of its show promotion.

At this moment, we are negotiating with another large commercial broadcaster who is interested in cross-media measurement. That is why I think that this year, AdCross measuring will become a standard for all large TV networks.

What is the current development of ad prices in respect of what is going on? There are quite a lot of things occurring…

Exactly, there is an awful lot going on. From our point of view, the good news is that the volume of TV advertising is still growing. We will see what the rising inflation will do with ad spends.

There are no signs of any advertising budget reduction, touch wood. Prices are based on annual negotiations and they took place before the last crisis.

The price slightly increased at the beginning of the year but we will see how everything will develop, especially in the second half of the year. For the time being, it looks as if there were no crisis. The question is for how long the crisis will continue, what the value of disposable income will be, and what impact it will have on consumption.

What were your financial results last year? The last figures disclosed for 2020 reported a profit exceeding half a billion crowns at sales of CZK 3.5 billion. Was it better last year?

We have yet to disclose our financial results but I can say that they were better than in 2020. But growth will be a bigger challenge this year. For all of us.

In terms of your own production, it was more difficult to shoot something during the Covid-19 period, especially due to lockdowns and other restrictions. Are you still catching up on what was missed during the forced break?

We were intensively catching up on everything last year, shooting a number of shows to have in stock. In general, the volume of TV content production is high in the Czech market now. Local broadcasters are shooting at a breakneck pace, not only due to increasing competition.

The reason is that all large players invest in video services, be it Voyo or iVysílání. We are also preparing a new iPrima. To get everything going we start shooting earlier. We are in a very intensive period for the original Czech production.

So what news can viewers look forward to on your channels this year?

At the beginning of the year, we launched a new series ZOO, which has ratings similar to the series Slunečná. We are very happy because following in a historical success is always very difficult. The series Duch ended up as the second most successful series of all time, with which we are also satisfied.

There will be big news especially in the autumn. But I cannot talk about many of the new items. What I can tell is that we are preparing a loose sequel of our successful series Vinaři that will be entitled Pálava. There will be old and new characters and new stories but the environment and atmosphere will be preserved. I think that this will be much appreciated by viewers. The worse the mood in society and the more challenging life is, the more people prefer this type of content.

As for your own content, there should be some created in the new e-sports centre PLAYzone Arena in Prague – Chodov in which you participate and which will open at the end of this month…

… the opening is on 25 April, so we are finishing everything. Some shows will be created there but first of all, it will be a great experience for visitors. Such big centres are, for example, in London, Berlin or Stockholm but in Central Europe, we have had nothing similar.

There will be more than sixty computers and e-sports competitions including Czech championships. In short, there will be much entertainment and it will be very attractive, especially for younger audiences.

And how does such a centre fit into the strategy of a large media house?

We entered Playzone several years ago because we can see that gaming is going up. It matched our strategy at the moment we had learnt from foreign surveys that more people prefer watching someone else playing a game to playing it themselves. At that moment, it is video entertainment and that is our core business. Video entertainment is what Prima is doing.

What is the potential of e-sports in your opinion?

It is a dynamically developing area and I do not think that the sector is in its infancy in the Czech Republic. Given the investments in e-sports teams and competitions, e-sports have moved to the adolescence stage. Especially for younger generations, e-sports are experience that is absolutely comparable with watching traditional sports. Which we in our fifties do not understand. (laugh)

Source: forbes.cz


Can attention be both the “north star to effectiveness” but also “really not how advertising works”?

In January Mike Follett of Lumen Research declared 2022 to be the Year of Attention, here in The Media Leader, which was no surprise. Media owners are investing in research and clients are asking lots of questions about it.

So, as a strategist, I’ve spent a lot of time recently immersing myself in the topic and discussing with my colleagues. It soon became clear that despite all this focus, there isn’t a clear agreement on how much it matters and when.

This is important: there is often a rush to optimise campaigns to new metrics, and there is a risk this could happen around an issue where consensus isn’t fully settled.

There are two main schools of thought:

Professor Karen Nelson-Field of Amplified Intelligence, one of the world-renowned experts in the field of attention, last year described attention as the “North Star to ad effectiveness” in her column here on The Media Leader.

However there is an opposing point of view, I think best summed up by legendary strategist Craig Mawdsley, in a recent blog post: “It has all proven that this is really not how advertising works. The main thing advertising does is to reinforce long-term brand associations. This doesn’t happen when people pay active attention… they happen when people aren’t really paying attention.”

Can both points be true at the same time? Both the “north star to effectiveness” and “really not how advertising works”?


At MediaCom our point of view is that they are both right – but in different ways.

The role of attention, and active attention in particular, varies depending on a campaign’s objectives, and for a reason that goes back to the basics of human psychology.

In Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking Fast & Slow, he sets up the dichotomy of the brain’s modes of thought. System 1 is fast, intuitive, instinctive – and crucially largely unconscious. System 2 is slow, logical, takes time and energy – and is very conscious. It is estimated that most of the time the brain processes signals in System 1, with just 5% of mental activity devoted to conscious processing.


For much established brand advertising, where maintaining mental availability is important, we think it works in the manner described by Mawdsley. Brand advertising works by reinforcing long-term brand associations, and active attention really isn’t necessary for that.

It shows why the type of ‘distinctive assets” talked about by Professor Byron Sharp in How Brands Grow are so important –  distinctive, ownable brand assets like colours, logos, brand lines and sonic triggers –  that are the type of stimulus more likely to be processed in a less conscious, System 1-type way.

For these types of campaigns, paying extra for the formats and channels with the highest active attention isn’t necessary. In fact, the relative extra impact of active attention over passive attention is relatively slight, and there is even evidence that ‘zero’ attention can still have an impact: someone looking away from the screen but processing some form of familiar sonic trigger would be seen as paying no attention, but we know still works for System 1-type processing.


But for many other types of campaigns that require some form of rational response –  such as launching a new brand or variant; where there is a clear new offer you want people to know about; where you want people to take a clear and immediate action; or trying to find people in market deciding what to do – that’s when you need to appeal to the sparse resources of System 2 thought.

That’s where attention can be the superpower that helps you cut through in the ‘messy middle’. These are the campaign objectives where you need to optimize your plan to the channels, formats and contexts that have higher attention, and applying the learnings from Lumen, Amplified Intelligence and others. We’ve seen that optimising these types of campaigns to attention drives better short-term outcomes.


So, in summary – attention does matter, and it’s important to optimise towards it for campaigns that have a clear rational message or short-term outcome. But it doesn’t matter for every campaign – for campaigns that are primarily about brand metrics such as mental availability, focus on getting your distinctive assets right and let your System 1 mode do its work.

Source: the-media-leader.com


The Association of Communication Agencies (AKA) expects marketing communication investments to grow by 12% this year. The investment dynamics is going to accelerate compared to previous years.

Despite the ongoing presence of Covid-19, the advertising market in the Czech Republic was doing relatively well in 2021. According to data from the Activation Research, which was carried out by Nielsen Admosphere for the Association of Communication Agencies, the market achieved a volume of CZK 124.7 billion (a year-on-year growth of 4.2 %).

“The research results indicate that advertisers have become optimistic again when it comes to investment volumes. Deferred household consumption also played its role,”

says AKA’s director Marek Hlavica.

The research expects that in 2022, the total volume of the market will grow to CZK 139.4 billion, going up by 12% compared to 2021. The advertising market comprises media and non-media channels. In 2022, media investments are expected to grow 6.1% to a total of 77.1 billion, non-media 19.7% to a total of 62.3 billion.

“With the end of the pandemic, we can expect a strong growth in activation campaigns, be it in sales support, or relationship and event marketing. Advertisers’ pressure on meeting their business objectives will be enormous this year, which is supported by the total numbers of the non-media market growth. The market significantly exceeds the expected inflation for 2022,” says David Čermák from AKA’s activation agency section.


(expert estimate of net marketing investments)

in CZK billion

Source: AKA, Nielsen Admosphere


media                                                    non-media                                 

Source: AKA, Nielsen Admosphere

According to Nielsen Admosphere’s data from spring 2022, retail channels have long been in the top 10 largest advertisers in terms of the volume of invested funds. Lidl, Kaufland and Albert took the top three places again last year. However, compared to 2020, their investments did not see a rapid increase. “Retail chains have maintained their dominant positions. At the same time, it is evident that on one hand, households again started caring for their equipment, and on the other, consumers started taking more care of themselves. Simply, “bread and circuses” is what applies at all times,“ describes the director of the Association of Media Agencies (ASMEA), Ondřej Novák.

Growing online and mobile support

The largest space among non-media channels is taken by online and mobile support, up 27%. It accounts for one fifth of the non-media channel spend. This trend may be expected also in the following years. Marketers expect the largest negative impact in gifts and presents while events and direct marketing have not fully recovered yet. Production of advertising and sponsorship are the main areas that have seen return on investments.

Hourly rates evolve with inflation

The average growth in hourly rates of ad and marketing agencies grew 5.5% year-on-year in January 2022. The reason is the inflation rate in the second half of 2021 and its continued rising trend. As expected, the ad market is growing especially in areas with higher rates of inflation-prone inputs (cost of labour, cost of energy and material needed for advertising production). This is based on the regular annual research of industry hourly rates, showing the average costs on the communication agency market.

State’s communication with people was insufficient

The data from the annual analysis prepared by CEEC Research for AKA and the PR Association (APRA) indicate that the volume of last year’s public contracts accounted for just 1.5% of the total communication market. In total, 686 contracts were awarded in 2021 in the total amount of 1.8 billion. According to AKA, the Czech Republic lags behind West European countries where these contracts represent 15-20% of the market.

Source: mediaguru.cz