Daniel Grunt returned to CME a year ago as head of digital activities. His task was to secure one million subscribers for Voyo within five years. How’s it going?

There was no escaping that campaign. In the spring, Nova TV paid for billboards in the Czech Republic and Slovakia to promote its Voyo paid internet video library. No sooner had one campaign ended than another began – this time promoting a particular show, the miniseries Iveta. The three-part dramatic series about the early years of singer Iveta Bartosova’s career has become one of the most successful shows Voyo offers.

Voyo calls similar shows made just for Voyo the Voyo Original. They include the miniseries The Případ Roubal and Guru, the comedy series Národní házená, and the current premiere of Jitřní záře, a gripping story about an alternative family that wants to name a child according to their own rules. Coming up in the fall are Král Šumavy and the comedy novelty Guma.

“All the Voyo Originals are working extremely well for us. But the backbone is still Ordinace v růžové zahradě. The fact that we dared to flip it in the fall of 2021 from a linear broadcast, where it was still doing 900,000 to a million viewers on one broadcast day, helped us. It showed the market that we were serious. The series hasn’t gone down in quality, length or cast, it’s still the same. Rather, it has caught a second wind,” says Daniel Grunt, CME’s Chief Digital Officer.

It’s a testament to the strength of the series Ordinace that, unlike other series, it doesn’t take the usual summer break. Instead, it will launch a new sequel every week.

How to determine success

While Nova keeps track of how many viewers have watched a particular show, the more important metric is the number of subscribers gained. The total number of subscribers comfortably surpassed the 350,000 mark in the spring. The broadcaster will not publish more precise figures, as no video library on the market publishes similar business data. However, subscribers are growing faster than Nova itself expected.

“We are doing fundamentally better than we planned and dreamed. But we are not accelerating production plans because the ones originally announced were ambitious themselves,”

Grunt points out.

CME’s management’s mission is clear: to acquire one million paying users in the Czech and Slovak markets by 2026. So far, it looks like a realistic task. “But there is a huge question mark about what the economy will look like next year or in two years,” reminds the head of CME’s digital activities. Coincidentally, recently published surveys suggest that Czech households will start cutting back on culture, entertainment and other leisure activities.

In addition to how many people have paid for access to Voyo, TV stations are also interested in average viewing time. On average, users now spend 12 hours a week watching shows. Nova commissions various surveys that show Voyo has the highest proportion of users who watch daily or several times a week compared to competing services. Typical users are households of people in their thirties and forties, and Voyo has a greater representation of women compared to linear TV.

Betting on localism

No local service will ever have the budget of the global players. The annual investment by Netflix or Walt Disney in content production is in the tens of billions of dollars. Even if all the TV stations in the Czech market put their production budgets together, they wouldn’t pay the equivalent of one American series. That’s why Voyo highlights local themes, popular local actors and a wide library of domestic cinema. It has about 750 Czech films on offer.

However, the arrival of Disney+, HBO Max and other global apps on the Czech market also presents a complication when buying content from abroad. The biggest hits are jealously guarded by American production studios, who want to have exclusive films and series on their own platforms.

“So we are reaching out a little bit differently than the American film studios. For example, Scandinavian crime films work very well for us. We have quite a lot of interesting series from the UK, from the BBC and ITV. That’s something that works here, so we’ll keep going after interesting European work,”

Grunt hints at a buying strategy.

“In all the countries where CME operates, we want to be the strongest local service of first choice for people who want to watch quality local content. Whether it’s movies, series, or some shows, reality shows, whatever else. That’s the place we want to occupy in the market,” he explains.

“The biggest focus and investment at CME is on Voyo. It is the backbone of the entire digital transformation of CME in all the countries where we operate. Voyo cuts across the structure of TV stations, basically almost all teams. Then it automatically transforms the whole company,” Grunt continues. “Voyo may have been around for 11 years, but it went through waves where it was a priority, then again it wasn’t, it was in a drawer and AVOD – a free archive of shows with video advertising – was being pushed. With the arrival of a new owner, it’s become a key priority for the group again,” he explains.

Voyo has a different position in Slovenia, where they have developed paid content all the time, while they don’t have a free archive with ads at all. “Slovenia is very much a pay-TV market, they monetise all long-form content through Voyo. It’s a small market with two million inhabitants, but they developed Voyo and grew continuously. In all other markets, the Voyo curve was flat for a long time, it didn’t move for maybe ten years,” recalls the director of digital activities.

In the Czech Republic, Voyo’s development has been very fast. “We are still learning. As it grows quickly under our hands, we often forget to realise that we have only been working on it for a little over a year,” concludes Daniel Grunt. CME wants to use the experience gained for other markets.

Source: lupa.cz


Year-on-year growth in advertising investment in media continued in May, but was lower than in the previous month.

The monitored volume of advertising investment in media reached a 7% year-on-year increase in May this year. This also marks the fifth month this year that the advertising market has improved, according to Ad Intel data from Nielsen Admosphere. However, compared to April, which showed an increase of almost a quarter (+23%), May’s growth is lower. This may be related to last spring’s relaxation of anti-video measures and the associated noticeable increase in ad investment.

For the first five months of this year, the year-on-year increase in monitored advertising investment is 13%, with the strongest growth in outdoor advertising (+40%), followed by radio (+21%). Television advertising remains the strongest.

Source: mediaguru.cz

Investment in internet advertising is not included in the reported overview, as the monitoring only covers display advertising.

Again, we remind you that the volumes monitored do not reflect the actual volumes invested in media advertising, but describe the trend.

Source: mediaguru.cz


The 10th HbbTV Symposium and Awards on November 9-10, 2022 in Prague, Czech Republic, will provide a unique platform to present and discuss the latest developments in the connected TV industry. The HbbTV Association, which co-hosts the in-person event with the Czech Association of Commercial Television (AKTV), is inviting industry executives and experts to address the top-level audience as speakers in the conference programme.

“This year’s HbbTV Symposium and Awards will, as always, provide important insights into the future of the broadcast and broadband industry. Your thoughts on current developments, new products and services and future trends are important to us. I would therefore like to encourage you to take part in the Call for Speakers and share your proposals for contributions with us,” said Vincent Grivet, Chair of the HbbTV Association.

The HbbTV Symposium 2022 is open for speakers on the following topics, particularly when supported by experiences gained from providing live services. The submission of additional topics will also be considered.

  • Reviews of new and existing HbbTV deployments in different markets and countries.
  • Using hybrid broadcast and broadband to improve viewers’ choice and experience from the perspectives of:
    – Consumers and/or consumer organisations
    – TV and other device manufacturers (e.g. supporting multiscreen services, companion/second screen)
    – Operators and Service Providers
    – Broadcasters (both public service and commercial)
    – Regulators, National governments and/or European organisations
  • Advertising and other means of monetizing the hybrid approach to television (e.g. addressable TV ads):

– Targeted Advertising (TA): Broadcast ad substitution
Client-side and server-side substitution
Watermarking-based substitution
– Targeted Advertising: implementations, use case examples,
experiences, future developments, challenges
– Benefits of standards-based TA (opposed to proprietary

  • HbbTV Operator Application (HbbTV OpApp):
    – Explanation, implementations, best practices, specification updates
    – New deployments
  • Experiences in promoting and marketing HbbTV:
    – From a technology perspective
    – From a Business Development perspective
  • GDPR & ePrivacy – experiences in an HbbTV-enabled world:
    – Audience measurements, viewer behaviour and other in GDPR compliance
    – Asking for and obtaining consent in the context of a TV set
    – Cookies and their successors
  • Content Media Security, rights management and content protection in hybrid TV services:
    – DRM and HbbTV (e.g. examples, services, solutions)
  • HbbTV best practices:
    – OTT, on demand/catch-up streaming services
    – Companion screen applications
    – Voice-Control with HbbTV
    – 360° VR – increase viewer engagement
    – Experiences with Operator Application
    – Content discovery services
    – Accessibility (Spoken subtitles, Audio descriptions, Sign language)
  • Delivering advanced viewing experiences including:

– Ultra-High Definition
– High-Dynamic Range
– Next Generation Audio
– Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality/AI

  • Cutting edge innovations and technology in the deployment of HbbTV-enabled services and devices.
  • Tools and techniques for developing and testing HbbTV applications and services.
  • HbbTV and other standards. For example:
    – 3GPP 5G Technology/5G Broadcast
    – DVB-I: role/involvement of HbbTV, new specifications
    – IP-Broadcasting (e.g. DVB Native IP)
    – ATSC 3.0 watermarking
  • HbbTV Conformance Regimes: why it is needed, country best practices, implementation, stakeholder education
  • Update from US market, e.g. inspiration for European market: ATSC 3 datacast applications, new applications, trends (local news, education)
  • Inside HbbTV: how the organisation works, Working Groups, Task Forces, participation, involvement, benefits of membership
  • The future for HbbTV: market trends and future directions
  • Building a better HbbTV ecosystem: thoughts and ideas on how the HbbTV Association in cooperation with members and market players could foster a more efficient HbbTV ecosystem
  • Lessons learned by service providers in deploying HbbTV services and doing business with HbbTV. What could be improved?

If you would like to speak at the HbbTV Symposium 2022, you are welcome to send us an outline of your proposed presentation through this online form by July 15, 2022. Please provide the title, an abstract (max. 200 words), a speaker’s biography (max. 150 words) and a speaker’s photo.

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.

The annual key summit of the connected TV industry 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.

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

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