Is media a field in decline? Few will refute that as forcefully as Dušan Švalek. The man who already largely runs the operations of CME, the multinational group that operates the Czech Republic’s most-watched commercial television and has huge plans for the Voyo video library.

The movements he indicates with his hand are telling enough in themselves. But to make it clear, Dušan Švalek will complement his gestures with words. “Telco is like a tanker, you turn the helm to the right and for two more years the ship goes in the same direction before it slowly starts to turn,” he says. “Whereas media, that’s a speedboat. In media, you change direction in a picosecond.”

The experienced manager started at the Boston Consulting Group, then held senior positions in telecommunications at Deutsche Telekom and most recently at Slovak Telekom in his home country. But he is now finishing his first year at CME, the PPF-owned media giant. Officially in the role of Deputy CEO. However, even the group’s first man Didier Stoessel admitted during a meeting with journalists: “I certainly couldn’t have done it on my own, and Dušan is taking over a lot of my responsibilities, certainly more than half of them.”

Švalek himself just smiles when asked if this trend can be translated as him heading to the role of CME boss. The fact that Stoessel, a Frenchman, is already the chief investment officer of the entire PPF could theoretically indicate that.

“All I can say is that I work very well with Didier and I feel comfortable in our tandem. I appreciate his experience in the business and corporate world and his work with numbers,” says Švalek. “In media, you need to be able to use both the right and left hemisphere, which I really see in him. I’ve learned a lot of new things in my year here, my personal ambition is to enjoy my work.”

And he probably does enjoy working at Barrandov, although it is still only the beginning. Švalek came to CME at a time of radical transformation, when Voyo had already become the cherished project of the future. This SVOD service – short for a video library with paid content that can be watched anytime and anywhere – has already amassed over half a million subscribers in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

A third of Nova’s viewers are watching new series either on Voyo or via delayed viewing. And this ratio is only going to rise.

“It’s terribly interesting! The opportunity is huge, no one can even say how big, because everything is being redefined,” Švalek recounts with obvious enthusiasm. “The change in the way we entertain ourselves and spend our leisure time is so radical that it’s really exciting. We can be part of it when something completely new is being created.”

Among other things, Švalek’s contribution is that he was used to operating in multiple markets at the telco business, which suits CME’s spread across Europe. “But I had never thought about the complexity of media before. I really enjoy it and the dynamics of the business are something else,” he compares.

For telecoms, for example, he estimates an investment cycle of five to 10 years, typically for 5G technology or fibre networks. “For fibre optics, it takes at least two years from the first idea to the moment the first digger starts digging. It takes another three quarters to a year to build – and the technology is there for another fifty years. The cycle is awfully long compared to media,” says Švalek. “For us, developing a new title from first idea to implementation can take six months to a year, sometimes even less. And you have immediate feedback from customers.”

The bet on the trend set by the world’s giants such as Netflix, HBO and Disney+ dates back several years, to the time when PPF was ruled by Petr Kellner. Significant investments were and are associated with it, Stoessel talked about hundreds of millions of crowns in an interview with Forbes last year.

“It’s a long-term project. You have to believe, you have to be committed to the idea and you have to invest,” agrees Švalek. “And I feel that PPF really believes in us. My feeling is based on various discussions and probably the best way to measure it is by the investment decisions they make to support us. That’s where it always shows up.”

King of Šumava, Iveta, or even the paranormal series Vědma… Dozens of new series a year are produced, often either purely for Voyo or for viewers to see in advance. “PPF believes that we have assembled a team at CME that has the skills and ambition to handle such a business well. At the same time, there is also a certain social issue. The emphasis on quality is really taking the culture in those countries a little further than in the past,” says Švalek.

This is not self-praise; the quality TV trend is also appreciated by critics. As long-term and strategic as the Voyo project is, Švalek returns to his speedboat metaphor. Speed is needed above all in decision-making. “Whether you put a title on Voyo or on linear broadcasting, you know the answer the next day. That’s why it’s routine for us to look at the previous day’s numbers in the morning. And we can react to them,” Švalek explains.

Regarding to this, they are in agreement with the owners. “PPF has an entrepreneurial spirit, is agile and knows how to take risks, which is not exactly the rule in larger corporations and multinational companies, where decision-making processes are much more difficult – lots of floors, lots of time, but little action,” Švalek says. “Here I feel there is a reasonable balance between action and risk.”

That’s why he and Voyo are starting to venture into more uncertain areas. After blockbusters, including one about the fate of Iveta Bartošová, they created Vědma, a series on the edge of the supernatural and sci-fi genres. “As time goes on, we’ll have to segment more and more so that people can watch it everywhere, anytime. Because it’s standard even within a family that its members watch different things in different rooms. We will even go beyond the mainstream,” says Švalek.

Two things are key in this regard, he says. Not only what is hidden under the term household penetration, which can be understood as the number of subscriptions per household. Perhaps even more important is something else: “The mental capacity of the people we can occupy. This is something we pay particular attention to when competing with global players.”

He zooms in on this by claiming that the biggest competitor for Voyo is not so much rival streaming platforms, but people’s leisure time itself. Indeed, the expected state of affairs for the not-too-distant future is that households will subscribe to multiple services.

But international production relies on similar practices and genres, logically selecting from a portfolio of international stars. Voyo, on the other hand, wants to be essentially based for the Czech-Slovak audience. So that it can always be their first complementary choice to Netflix, HBO and others.

“What is important for us is the ambition to grow,” agrees Švalek. “We still believe there is room for good local content and our strategy is to occupy that space. But this is not about marketing. What we do will never work without a very high quality product.”

Which is fun. “Awful fun,” agrees Švalek gleefully. “Art is about emotion, and our products are emotional. Plus, as an analytical type, I like complexity, and media is a very complex field. Producing a series like Ulice is no different from planning an elaborate project.”

One example of a complex – and therefore, for Švalek, fun – issue is the content selection process itself. “We have a lot of data on what viewers want, what type of content, storylines and cast they prefer. At the same time, when deciding what title to invest in, it’s always about emotion, personal judgement, feeling. The winners are those who can combine these two things,” he says, referring back to the need to connect both hemispheres of the brain, the intellectual and the emotional.

But the process does not end there. According to Švalek, building a program also offers a huge number of combinations. Thinking about the habits and requirements of the audience is only the beginning. “You immediately add another layer, advertising space and sales,” he says. “What target do you choose to match not only the audience need but also the advertisers? How do you profile the product to fit the advertisers who are strongest in that economy? How does it all come together? That’s the essence of it, being able to connect different things and think about them in context.”

So far, CME has been able to do this thanks to a boss tandem in which Švalek is becoming more and more busy.



The viewership of the Nova Voyo streaming service is growing. It attracts viewers’ attention mainly with new original series. At the end of February, the service already had half a million active and paying users in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. But the goal of the managers is higher, Voyo wants up to a million subscribers.

“Voyo is a lovebrand,” Didier Stoessel, head of CME, which includes Voyo and Nova TV, told reporters. In fact, a survey commissioned by CME found that 34 per cent of Czechs think of Netflix and 30 per cent of Voyo before HBO max and Disney+ when pay-TV is mentioned. In Slovakia, the result was an even 34 percent for both Voyo and Netflix. The increase in Voyo viewers is helped in part by current trends in TV viewing, where viewers are moving away from watching shows in real time and using more delayed viewing.

In addition, executives are betting on content. “We want to be the most watched platform with local content,” CME Chief Operating Officer Dušan Švalek outlined the strategy.

CME is therefore investing in original productions such as series or miniseries filmed directly for Voyo, such as The Roubal Case, Guru or the latest King of Sumava, Sex O’Clock or the continuation of the series about singer Iveta Bartosova. Seventy more projects are in the pipeline.

CME management would like to reach the million paying viewers mark in two years.

Voyo appeared on screens in January 2020 and its reboot began in early 2021.

CME, which has been part of PPF since 2020, operates TV stations in Croatia, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Bulgaria, in addition to the domestic Nova and Voyo, and is one of the leading media and entertainment companies in Central and Eastern Europe. CME reaches 45 million viewers.



The Nextv conference series moves to the heart of Europe in May. The conferences will be hosted by Dataxis from 10 to 12 May in Prague, and the Association of Commercial Television has become a media partner.

Both events will feature experts from AKTV member companies as speakers, such as Daniel Grunt, CEO of TV Nova, and Josef Beneš, Director of VOD services at FTV Prima.


At the third edition of the Nextv Ad Europe conference on 10 May, experts from the world of TV advertising will focus on the latest developments in TV advertising and how to integrate programmatic and TV strategies.

Nextv Series Europe will then look at the trends, innovations and strategies that are driving the connected ecosystem of TV, telecoms and OTT.

“AKTV aims to bring the best of the TV world and new trends to advertisers and media agencies through its ScreenVoice brand. We are therefore very pleased to be a partner of the prestigious Nextv conferences this year, following the success of last year’s HbbTV Symposium.”

says Klára Brachtlová, President of AKTV.

The detailed conference programme is available on the website of each event.

Attendees who use the special discount code “AKTV15” will receive a 15% discount on the entrance fee.


Association of Commercial Television (

The Association of Commercial Television represents the most important commercial broadcasters in the Czech Republic. Its aim is to defend, support and promote their common interests.

AKTV actively participates in the preparation of national and European legislation related to commercial television broadcasting, personal data protection, journalistic work or commercial communications. It is a partner for public authorities, EU institutions and other stakeholders. One of ACPV’s main activities is to protect the copyright of its members and to fight against internet piracy.

In addition, AKTV is also active in promoting television as an advertising medium. To communicate with advertisers and media agencies, it runs the information website and regularly organises industry conferences.


ScreenVoice (

On readers can find inspiration, trends, research and news about what is happening in the television world in the Czech Republic and abroad. Each month is dedicated to one topic, for which original content is prepared. Thus, readers can expect a magazine reading about the first ever TV advertisement, a Christmas or Valentine’s Day special, or a reflection on advertising during the covid or the war in Ukraine. The theme of the month is complemented by a calendar of industry events, a glossary of terms from the world of total video, or the popular Myths and Facts about TV section, which provides a range of data to debunk the most common myths about TV. A separate category is the archive of AKTV events, where those interested can find all the recordings of performances and speaker presentations from the last six years.


Piracy rates for US streaming services are expected to rise from 22% in 2022 to 24.5% in 2027, according to Parks Associates.

In an announcement at NAB in Las Vegas this week, the research firm said it was estimating a cumulative loss from piracy of $113 billion by the end of 2027.

Parks’ new study Streaming Piracy Market & Ecosystem Strategies shows visits to pirate hosting websites increased by 31% in 2020 and industry leaders seek new piracy policies to stem revenue losses.

“While there is some optimism that emerging countermeasures and best-practices may see piracy begin to plateau by 2027, there is no consensus among stakeholders as to when it may begin to decline,” said Steve Hawley, Contributing Analyst, Parks Associates, and Managing Director of the Piracy Monitor industry newsletter and consultancy. “This research provides a much-needed understanding of the issues at hand and the technologies and approaches available to fight piracy.”

Parks Associates’ research indicates that video service providers may reduce the motivation for password sharing by restricting the number of users who can stream the service simultaneously. However, this will have a negative impact on the user experience for online video users and act as a deterrent to password sharing. Netflix is introducing a feature that will allow users to share accounts for an extra fee, and Adobe launched “Prime Account IQ” to help providers identify when viewers are sharing credentials.

“The number of households who share account credentials and consume pirated content is rising. People are increasingly looking for new ways to satisfy entertainment needs,” said Sarah Lee, Research Analyst, Parks Associates, and contributor to the report. “Participation in sharing account credentials increased 48% since 2019.”




Generative artificial intelligence (AI) has several benefits for the trademark licensing industry: creating images of new licensed products, developing creative assets, and conducting market research. However, there are also a number of legal issues that brands must be aware of.

Here’s everything you need to know.

What is generative AI?

Generative AI refers to a type of artificial intelligence that can create new content or data. It uses machine learning algorithms to scan, review and learn from large volumes of data and then generate new content based on that learning. The generated content can include text, images, music and video.

Some of the current applications of generative AI include chatbots, language translation software and recommendation engines. However, generative AI has the potential to create entirely new forms of content that would be impossible for humans to produce on their own.

Recently, there has been a great deal of interest in, and use of, new generative AI systems such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT-4 and DALL-E 2. Microsoft has invested billions in OpenAI and is using ChatGPT to enhance its Bing search engine and Edge web browser. Google has launched its own AI chatbot, Bard. And AWS (Amazon Web Services) has partnered with Hugging Face to make Hugging Face’s products, which include an AI language generation tool named Bloom, available to AWS’s cloud customers who want to use the tools as the building blocks of their own applications. As the technology continues to advance, we will see greater adoption and more applications of generative AI.

Use of AI in the trademark licensing industry

Trademark licensing is an important commercial tool for trademark owners, enabling them to derive significant rewards by allowing third parties to use their marks. There are several ways generative AI can be a potentially game-changing technology for the trademark licensing industry.

One of the key ways generative AI can be used is in the development of images of proposed new licensed products based on generative AI system inputs of brand owner logos and trademarks, style rules and guidelines, and the desired categories and products.

Other possible uses include the development of creative assets such as style guides and sales materials, as well as market research, licensing plan development outlining potential categories for extension, retail channels and territories, and identification of potential licensee partners.

Legal issues with generative AI

There are several legal issues that can arise with the use of generative AI. One of the main concerns is that it can create content that may infringe on someone else’s intellectual property rights. For example, if an AI system generates an image of a proposed new licensed product that looks substantially similar to a competitor’s existing product, there could be questions about whether or not it constitutes copyright and/or trade dress infringement.

Similarly, if an AI system generates a design for a licensed product that is similar to an existing patented product, there could be patent infringement issues. In the event of infringement claims, who is liable? Is the owner of the AI system that scraped the Internet for huge volumes of data responsible, or is the user who queried and prompted the system and used the output liable? Although case law in this area is scarce, owners of AI systems are imposing terms of use that seek to shield the owners against liability and shift responsibility to the users. The success of this strategy is not certain as, again, case law in this area is scarce.

Another legal issue with generative AI is whether the output is protectable by copyright. Most copyright laws worldwide are based on an assumption that works of authorship are the creative output of human beings. With generative AI, the law has fallen behind reality. One argument in favor of protectability is that corporations are routinely recognized as the author of a work. Unfortunately, in connection with purely AI generated works, that argument has not yet been embraced, by either the US Copyright Office (USCO) or the courts.

On February 21, 2023, the USCO decided to register a work that was generated by both a human (i.e., the text) and AI (i.e., the images), specifically including the human-generated text and the selection, coordination, and arrangement of that text with the AI-generated images. The USCO conditioned its decision on the copyright applicant’s explicit exclusion of the non-human authorship contained in the work. In reaching its decision, the USCO reasoned that “[b]ecause of the significant distance between what a user may direct the AI system to create and the visual material the system actually produces,” the applicant did not have enough control over the final images generated to legally be considered the “inventive or master mind” behind them.

On March 16, 2023, the USCO issued further guidance stating that AI-generated works can indeed “contain sufficient human authorship to support a copyright claim. For example, a human may select or arrange AI-generated material in a sufficiently creative way that ‘the resulting work as a whole constitutes an original work of authorship’… What matters is the extent to which the human had creative control over the work’s expression and ‘actually formed’ the traditional elements of authorship.” However, human generated AI system prompts do not meet the human authorship requirement and are, therefore, not registrable. According to the USCO, prompts “function more like instructions to a commissioned artist—they identify what the prompter wishes to have depicted, but the machine determines how those instructions are implemented in its output.” The USCO’s guidance advises that copyright registration applicants have a duty to disclose the inclusion of AI-generated content in a work submitted for registration and provide a brief explanation of the human author’s contributions to the work.

Regulatory guidance and enforcement

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued guidance on the use of AI and algorithms in business practices. The FTC recommended that companies should take steps to ensure that their AI systems are accurate, transparent, explainable and fair, and that they should be mindful of the potential for these systems to perpetuate fraud or amplify biases.

On March 3, 2023, FTC spokesperson, Juliana Gruenwald, told Business Insider,“The FTC has already seen a staggering rise in fraud on social media…AI tools that generate authentic-seeming videos, photos, audio, and text could supercharge this trend, allowing fraudsters greater reach and speed.”

In June 2022, the FTC recommended that Congress pass laws to prohibit the use of AI tools to commit fraud and cause consumer harm. The FTC has also brought enforcement actions against companies for deceptive or unfair practices and privacy violations related to AI.

In March 2022, the FTC reached a settlement with a company for AI privacy violations by requiring the company to destroy algorithms and models based on wrongful data collection and processing. It is important to note that the field of AI and machine learning is rapidly evolving, and the regulatory landscape is likely to change, as well. Therefore, it is important for users of generative AI to stay informed of the latest developments and best practices in this area.

Minimizing legal liability

When using generative AI, there are several steps companies can take to minimize liability:

  1. Be transparent:Clearly communicate that AI generated content was, in fact, generated by an AI system. If appropriate, provide information about the prompts used to elicit the AI generated output.
  2. Review output:Monitor the output of the AI system to identify and address any issues or errors. Have a process in place for company personnel to review, search for and remove infringing, inappropriate or harmful content generated by the AI system.
  3. Engage counsel:Consult with legal counsel to ensure compliance with relevant laws and regulations, and to develop appropriate policies and procedures for using generative AI.
  4. Implement safeguards: Implement safeguards to avoid violations of applicable laws and regulations and maximize compliance with companies’ established policies and procedures.

Generative AI can be a valuable tool for the trademark licensing industry. However, its use can create legal and regulatory issues. Given the legal implications and risks, it’s important to think about a framework for employee use. To minimize the risk of claims and damages, companies should consider developing appropriate policies and procedures that mitigate potential risks and address legal and ethical concerns arising from the use of generative AI.




Hosehold share of the TV advertising market by GRP received were unchanged in the first quarter of 2023.

Domestic TV stations delivered only a very slightly lower number of GRPs in the advertising TV market in Q1 2023 than in the same period a year earlier (-1.5%). Media Club and Nova Group remain the strongest commercial networks in terms of GRPs delivered, while Atmedia and other TV stations, among them mainly Televize Seznam, posted the highest year-on-year increases in the period under review. Data from the ATO-Nielsen Admopshere monitoring shows this.

Nova and the main channel Prima delivered the most GRPs in the first quarter. They are followed by Prima Krimi, Prima Max, Nova Cinema, Prima Cool and other stations.

According to non-public information, TV advertising performed well in the first quarter of 2023, maintaining a growth in the higher single-digit percentages year-on-year in GRPs.

Representation Media Club (stations of the Prima Group, Barrandov, Óčko and some other thematic channels) recorded the highest share in all-day viewership in the audience categories 15+ and 15-69 in the first quarter of 2023. In the 15-54 audience group, the Nova group showed the highest share.



Consider two music industry approaches to artificial intelligence (AI). One is taken by Giles Martin, son of Sir George Martin, producer of the Beatles. Last year, he used AI to remix the Beetles’ famous 1966 album Revolver. It learned from the original mono recording what all the band members’ instruments sounded like (John Lennon’s guitar, for example), and Martin was then able to separate them and reverse-engineer them into stereo.

The result was stunning. The second approach isn’t bad either. It features the response of the moody Australian singer-songwriter Nick Cave to lyrics written in his style by ChatGPT, an AI-powered tool developed by the startup OpenAI. “These songs suck,” he said. “Songwriting is not imitation, replication or pastiche, it’s the complete opposite. It’s an act of suicide that destroys everything man has tried to create in the past.”

Remember the Napster

Cave is probably not impressed by the latest version of the algorithm hiding behind ChatGPT, called GPT-4, which OpenAI recently introduced. Martin may find it useful. Michael Nash, executive vice president and manager of digital products and services at Universal Music Group, one of the world’s largest music publishers, illustrates with these two examples the excitement and fear that is generated by the artificial intelligence that powers content-generating applications like ChatGPT (text) and Stable Diffusion (image).

AI can help in the creative process. But it can also destroy it or completely hijack it. When it comes to recorded music in general, the rise of bots is reminiscent of another historical event that shook the world: the meteoric rise and fall of Napster, the turn-of-the-millennium platform for sharing mostly pirated song recordings.

Copyright law ultimately took care of Napster’s demise. For aggressive bot providers who are accused of going over the dead bodies of intellectual property, Nash has a simple message that sounds like a threat from a music industry veteran who remembers the Napster era: “Don’t go to the market to beg for forgiveness later. That’s what Napster did.”

The main problem here isn’t AI-created Cave-themed songs or fake Shakespearean sonnets. It’s the oceans of copyrighted data that the bots sucked up in between learning to create anthropomorphic content. This information comes from everywhere: social media feeds, internet search engines, digital libraries, television, radio, statistics, and so on.

AI models are guilty of robbing databases, often without permission. Those responsible for the source material complain that their work is siphoned off without their permission, credit or compensation. AI platforms are simply doing to other media what Napster used to do to songs: completely ignoring copyright. Lawsuits are starting to swarm.

Define fair use

It’s a legal minefield with implications that reach beyond the creative industries into any business where machine learning plays a role, from self-driving cars to medical diagnostics and factory robotics to insurance and risk management. True to its bureaucratic nature, the European Union has issued a copyright directive that also talks about data mining (it was written before the current bot boom).

Experts say America lacks precedents specific to generative AI. Instead, it has conflicting theories about whether data mining without permission is permissible under the “fair use” doctrine. Napster tried to defend “fair use” in America, but failed. That doesn’t mean the result will be the same this time.

The main “fair use” arguments are fascinating. Let’s quote a lesson on the subject published in the Texas Law Review by Mark Lemley and Bryan Casey: a use of a copyrighted work is considered fair use when it serves a valuable social purpose, the source material is transformed from the original, and the act does not in any way affect the core business of the copyright owner.

Critics argue that AI does not transform the mined databases, it merely uses them. They argue that the companies behind machine learning abuse fair use to cash in on individuals’ creations for free. And they argue that it is not just the livelihood of individual creators that is at risk, but the whole of society if AI starts to promote, for example, mass surveillance and spread misinformation. Lemley and Casey weigh these arguments against the fact that the more access to training data AI has, the better it is, and that without such access, no AI would ever have come into existence.

In other words, that the industry could go into decline before it properly comes into existence. They see the situation as one of the most important legal questions of the century: “Will copyright law allow robots to learn?”

The Getty pioneers

One of the first lawsuits, which attracted widespread publicity, was filed by Getty Images. The photo agency accuses Stability AI, which owns Stable Diffusion, of infringing the copyright of millions of photos from its collection in order to create an image-generating AI model that will compete with Getty Images. Since the case is not being settled out of court, it could set a precedent for fair use.

Even more important could be the verdict soon to be delivered by the US Supreme Court in the case of copyrighted modifications of the late artist Andy Warhol’s paintings of pop idol Prince. Daniel Gervais, a copyright expert at Vanderbilt Law School in Nashville, believes the justices could provide long-awaited general guidance on fair use.

The accumulation of copyrighted data isn’t the only legal problem that generative AI has to deal with. In many jurisdictions, copyright only applies to human-generated works. Thus, we enter another grey area when we consider the extent to which bots (and their owners) can claim copyright protection for their works.

Outside of the courtroom, the main questions will be political – in particular, whether generative AI should be subject to the same protection against liability for damage caused by published content as social networks, and to what extent generative AI violates data protection.

The fight over copyright will be a big one. According to Nash, the art industry should quickly take a stand to ensure that artists’ work is licensed and used ethically when teaching AI models. He urges AI owners to “document and publish” their sources. It recognises that this is a delicate balance. Creative people do not want to appear as enemies of progress.

Many of them may start using AI for work. The lesson to take away from the Napsterian “reality cure”, as Nash calls it, is that it is better to engage with new technologies than hope they will just disappear.

Maybe this time it won’t take fifteen years of watching revenues collapse to understand it.




The trade association bringing together the most prominent commercial broadcasters is celebrating six years of existence. Following the organizational changes of one of its members, TV Nova, Jan Vlček was replaced by Klára Brachtlová, Chief External Affairs of the media group CME, in the board of directors and as president. The change is effective as of 30 March 2023.

The Association of Commercial Television celebrated its sixth anniversary in March. In the past year, it continued to develop its activities aimed at promoting television as an advertising medium and protecting copyrighted content in the online environment. It enters the next year under the leadership of its new president, Klára Brachtlová, who represents Nova TV on the AKTV board.

“My mission in AKTV will be a smooth continuation of my colleague Jan Vlček, who was at the birth of the association and co-set its activities and direction. Over the course of its existence, the association has built a reputation as a professional partner on the side of both television advertisers and media agencies, as well as the state administration and other stakeholders with whom it is in daily contact,”

says Klára Brachtlová, President of AKTV.

Last year, under the banner of its ScreenVoice brand, it implemented the ScreenVoice TALKS conference, focused on the topic of attention in advertising. The main point of the programme was an exclusive presentation of the Czech edition of the foreign study Track the Success, which AKTV had conducted as its first own research. Its topic was a comparison of the effectiveness of advertising spots in the environment of television, BVOD and online platforms YouTube and Facebook.

For its anniversary, AKTV has prepared a special series of articles on the ScreenVoice website about prominent advertising creators who have influenced the shape of not only TV advertising, but often the entire marketing communication.

“Television is still undoubtedly the most powerful advertising medium. We will therefore build on our successful dialogue with advertisers and media agencies and continue to bring them the most interesting developments in the world of advertising, not just television advertising.”

adds Klára Brachtlová.

The second focus of AKTV’s activities is its legislative and legal work. Last year, AKTV was closely involved in the legislative process of amending the Copyright Act and related regulations. One of the main activities of the ACPV is the protection of the copyright of its members and the fight against Internet piracy. In this area, last summer, for example, it managed to conclude an agreement with the Hellspy/Hellshare repository on filtering copyrighted content of commercial broadcasters.

Visitors to the website can now find a practical subpage dedicated to copyright, where they can find useful information, a glossary of terms and an explanation of how to consume copyrighted content legally on the Internet.

“We will intensify our activities to effectively protect our copyrighted content this year. But in addition, we also want to focus intensively on the transformation of the Cinematography Fund into the Audiovisual Fund, a topic that closely affects broadcasters,”

Brachtlová concludes.

About the Association of Commercial Television (

The Association of Commercial Television represents the most important commercial broadcasters in the Czech Republic. Its aim is to defend, support and promote their common interests.
AKTV actively participates in the preparation of national and European legislation related to commercial television broadcasting, personal data protection, journalistic work or commercial communications. It is a partner for public authorities, EU institutions and other stakeholders. One of ACPV’s main activities is to protect the copyright of its members and to fight against internet piracy.
In addition, AKTV is also active in promoting television as an advertising medium. To communicate with advertisers and media agencies, it runs the information website and regularly organises industry conferences.

About ScreenVoice (

On readers can find inspiration, trends, research and news about what is happening in the television world in the Czech Republic and abroad. Each month is dedicated to one topic, for which original content is prepared. Thus, readers can expect a magazine reading about the first ever TV advertisement, a Christmas or Valentine’s Day special, or a reflection on advertising during the covid or the war in Ukraine. The theme of the month is complemented by a calendar of industry events, a glossary of terms from the world of total video, or the popular Myths and Facts about TV section, which provides a range of data to debunk the most common myths about TV. A separate category is the archive of AKTV events, where those interested can find all the recordings of performances and speaker presentations from the last six years.


In a crisis, people typically cut back on non-essentials like entertainment. But Nova TV, which resurrected the fading streaming video platform Voyo last year, is not complaining about declining interest. Voyo has already half a million users, and despite the crisis, their numbers continue to grow.

“Now in the spring season, Voyo consumption is approaching fourteen hours per week on one account, which is two hours per day. It shows that when people cut back on leisure activities, they have more time to fill,” says Daniel Grunt, who has been running the country’s largest commercial broadcaster since the beginning of this year.

What you can read in the interview:

  • Why isn’t Nova worried about the loss of money from TV advertising?
  • How did the Ordinace v růžové zahradě 2 series contribute to Voyo’s reboot?
  • Why is Nova betting on its own series for a more demanding audience?
  • Why are Czech TV shows also available on Voyo?
  • How does Daniel Grunt rate Rey Koranteng’s performance in the presidential election debates?


What does your appointment to the head of Nova mean? You’ve led various digital projects for a long time. So is this a signal that digital is now playing a major role at Nova and that your streaming platform Voyo will be the main one to develop?

I wouldn’t say that Nova wants to fundamentally shift its priorities towards digital. It has to do with the way the growth of streaming services has accelerated over the last three years, kick-started by covid. People spend a not inconsiderable amount of time watching them.

But we can’t just push digital. Traditional TV still feeds us and brings us a large part of our income. That should be true for the next five or seven years. But the growth of digital services cannot be ignored. We have caught momentum in this sector and it is good to build on it.

In the world of paper media, advertising revenues are falling. Is it the same for TV? Then a move towards streaming would make sense.

We don’t feel that TV advertising is declining. Nova’s advertising revenue has been growing steadily over the last few years. Last year, the Czech streaming market was about CZK 3.5 billion in size. In five years it could be double that. This is a fairly significant source of new money that we want to tap into.

Last year, Prima took it upon itself to ban the fast-forwarding of ads on smart TV sets so that it would not lose advertising revenue. It already had a Don’t Fast-forward campaign before that, urging people not to deprive it of advertising money. You didn’t. Why didn’t you?

Prima was in a slightly different situation because it’s 100% sold out.

What does that mean?

The amount of advertising space it can sell is completely sold out. At the same time, they’re seeing more and more people fast-forwarding the ad breaks. In that context, I understand what Prima did. But it doesn’t bother us because we keep our ad space sell-out rate around 75 percent. It’s a deliberate strategy to balance the viewer experience with advertising revenue. The longer and more packed your ad breaks are, the more annoyed people get and don’t last as long.

In short, you have shorter commercial breaks so people don’t fast-forward as much.


Back to Voyo. Why was it important for Nova to kick-start this platform two years ago, which had been languishing for ten years? You could have said there’s no point in catching up with Netflix or HBO because they’ll always have bigger budgets anyway, and bet on an older audience that’s loyal to classic terrestrial broadcasting.

Over the last two years, it’s proven to make sense. We recently reported that Voyo has over half a million users in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. We are number two behind Netflix in the Czech market and we continue to grow. No one would have expected that two years ago.

We can’t go head-to-head against multinational players. We can’t spend hundreds of millions of dollars on one series of a show. Our way is to focus on local content. That means we understand the local audience, local traditions and we can tell stories in a way that makes sense to the Czechs. At the same time, we try to make our content in a form that is premium. See what our series like Případ Roubal, Král Šumavy and Iveta look like. These are big, almost cinematic titles that we deploy specifically for Voyo.

Voyo grows faster in crisis than last year

What about the economic crisis? Aren’t you worried that people will start saving money on subscriptions to similar services, which are constantly increasing?

I’m not worried about that regarding Voyo at all. We are trying to operate as a complement to the multinational players. I think foreign platforms like Netflix, HBO, Disney or SkyShowtime may have a problem. People are used to jumping between them depending on what attractive content they are offering at the time. Whereas we are the strongest Czech service, which people probably wouldn’t change.

When I look at how long subscribers stay with us, the churn rate is on par with the global Netflix. That’s a great result because Netflix has one of the lowest cancellation rates in the industry.

Clearly, when there is a crisis, people cut back on excessive spending. They go to the cinema, concerts or sports matches less. But our subscription for a month is 159 crowns. For that amount, the whole family gets a huge amount of entertainment. Now in the spring season, Voyo consumption is approaching fourteen hours a week on one account, which is two hours a day. It shows that when people cut back on leisure activities, they have more time they want to fill somehow. Think back to the covid period. There was uncertainty then too, but streaming services accelerated in the Czech Republic. Of course, we also have a scenario that foresees shrinking demand. Then we can delay the launch of the planned content a bit and wait for better times. But I don’t think that will be necessary.

We’re looking not only at how long people spend on Voyo, but also how often they come back. The more often a platform is used, the less risk of churn.

More for Deník N subscribers.

Source: dení


Czech Television continued to record a share above 30 percent in March this year. The deployment of the series Odznak Vysočina or the show Superlov helped to boost Nova’s prime time channel.

The Czech Television stations remained the most watched domestic television group in the over-15 audience group in full-time broadcasting in March with a share of 30.22%. Prima group defended its position as the second strongest in this target group, while Nova group recorded the highest year-on-year growth among the strongest groups. This is according to the official ATO-Nielsen Admosphere audience measurement data.

The year-on-year increase for the Nova group was also reflected in the fact that it became the newly most watched TV group in prime time in the 15+ group. In addition, it remains number one in the 15-54 and 15-69 audience categories in both day and evening viewership.

The growth of the Nova group is driven by year-on-year share improvements, particularly for Nova Cinema, Nova Fun and Nova Gold in both day and evening, as well as an improvement in the prime-time position of the main Nova channel.

Among Czech Television’s stations, the best performers year-on-year were CT2 and the sports channel CT Sport, which saw their share increase by 0.7 pp and 0.8 pp, respectively. The main channel CT1 also improved its position slightly. On the other hand, the year-on-year decline reflects the termination of the broadcasting of CT3 and the lower share of the news channel CT24, which was higher than usual in the same period last year due to the Russian aggression in Ukraine.

The growth of the Nova Group is mainly due to the year-on-year improvement in the shares of the Nova Cinema, Nova Fun and Nova Gold stations in both daytime and evening broadcasts, as well as the improved position of the main Nova channel in prime time.

Among Czech Television’s stations, the best performers year-on-year were CT2 and the sports channel CT Sport, which saw their share increase by 0.7 pp and 0.8 pp, respectively. The main channel CT1 also improved its position slightly. On the other hand, the year-on-year decline reflects the termination of the broadcasting of CT3 and the lower share of the news channel CT24, which was higher than usual in the same period last year due to the Russian aggression in Ukraine.

CNN Prima News, the news channel, also had a slightly lower share this March than in the same month last year (this applies to all-day broadcasting, while in prime time it recorded a slight improvement). Among the Prima Group’s channels, Prima Krimi continues to grow, already reaching a share of 4% (all-day, 15+). The Prima Max, Prima Zoom and Prima Star stations are also increasing their share, while the main Prima channel remained behind its result from last March.

Among the other stations, Atmedia and Television Seznam also increased their share year-on-year (to 1.5%, all day, 15+).



The Hellspy Internet platform, which was one of the most popular czech data sharing servers, ceased its operation over the past weekend. It happened on the first day of April, just as planned. I&Q Group, as the operator of the service, will now refund people with subscriptions gradually.

Hellspy, as one of the largest data sharing servers in the Czech Republic, has been a thorn in the side of copyright protectors for quite some time. On this portal, as well as on a number of other Internet storage sites, people have been sharing movies, music, games and illegal copies of various programs.

For example, Weemazz, a company that searches for and removes films and music from online repositories, said last year that requests are sent to operators every day to remove copies of thousands of copyrighted works.

While Hellspy promptly deleted the reported copies, illegal content was still abundant on the site. An agreement last September, when the I&Q Group – the operator of the Hellshare and Hellspy online repositories – agreed with representatives of commercial TV stations to deploy filters that would automatically search for and delete illegal content, did not help much.

Amendment to the Czech Copyright Act

But the New Year was a turning point, when the aforementioned amendment to the Czech Copyright Act following the European regulation came into force. According to the amendment, the operator essentially assumes responsibility for its users – it is responsible for what data users upload to the server.

Hellspy reacted to this by scrapping searches after the new year. No matter what terms you typed into the search box on its site, all you got was a message that the file you wanted could not be found.

Considering that this year the service was only available for downloads as part of a subscription fee or for credits that users earned by uploading data, the company lost a substantial amount of funding with the new year. That’s apparently why the company has decided to cut back on operations from the coming month. In practice, this means that the service is no longer available from 1 April 2023. The website only displays information about the termination of the service and a contact form.

Even before the closure of, the operators of the service began to harass users with subscriptions about the fact that they would be refunded if they had subscribed to the service for a longer period. So it is a pro-rated amount that will be calculated on the remaining days after the first of April. So for most users, it will be tens of crowns, hundreds of crowns at most.



The Ulož.to platform, which allows uploading and downloading of films, documents and photos, may have to change its services significantly and keep a closer eye on what people upload to its repository. This was shown by the latest dispute with Ulož.to initiated by Prima TV. The Municipal Court in Prague ruled at the end of February that the platform, which is operated by petacloud, must not allow people to download the Zoo series produced for Prima by Good TV Production SE from its repository.

At the same time, Judge Filip Liška ordered petacloud to provide Prima with information about those who illegally uploaded episodes of the Zoo series to its repository, including their IP addresses and other data. “It has been proven that (Ulož.to) is committing unfair competition and infringing the plaintiff’s copyright to the series in question,” Liška said.

Ulož.to finds the court’s decision surprising and is going to appeal against it. “It is based on legislation that does not apply to Ulož.to,” believes Jan Karabina, the statutory executive of petacloud. According to him, the development of case law cannot be assessed based on non-final judgements. However, two years ago, the courts gave final judgements to ban Ulož.to from offering six films, including Pelíšky or Ostře sledované vlaky, for which Dilia holds the copyright.

Ulož.to’s business is based on providing space to store virtually anything. And anyone can download from it, either free of charge at slow speeds or fast for a fee. Experts estimate that petacloud collects hundreds of millions of crowns in fees for faster downloads. However, it is impossible to find out the exact figures because contrary to law, the company does not publish its financial statements and does not report on its performance.

Judge Liška justified the verdict on the basis of an amendment to the Copyright Act, which came into force at the beginning of this year. It provides much more protection for copyright in case of sharing over the internet and limits its abuse.

“It is a revolutionary change. The amendment says that as of January, Ulož.to cannot use the excuse that it is only an intermediary as it is a user,” explains lawyer Rudolf Leška. According to him, if a company wants to offer works for further download, it must ensure the protection of copyright.

“The amendment opens the door for authors and producers of works to bring an action against such swindlers more easily,” said another expert, František Vyskočil, representing Dilia, the collective copyright management agency. According to both, more and more copyright owners can now be expected to defend themselves against such sharing of their works. “I will be much more optimistic when clients ask me whether they should file an action,” confirms Leška.

Prima has already succeeded once, specifically in the case of the Duch series. But then it won by default because Ulož.to failed to appear in court. The court gave a default judgement and did not address the merits at all. “However, on appeal, the High Court upheld the enforceability of the judgement,” says Prima’s counsel Ludmila Kutějová. According to her, the Duch series should no longer be available for download on the Ulož.to website.

Prima filed the same action on the grounds of the illegal offering of the Slunečná series. The court has not yet heard the case. After the current success, Prima plans to continue and bring actions concerning other films and series. And in the next wave, it will also require both Ulož.to and the people who uploaded its works to the platform and thus enabled their illegal distribution to hand over the unjust enrichment. It therefore requires the platform to disclose the number of downloads or the IP addresses from where the episodes of their series were uploaded.

CinemArt has also taken the route of recovering unjust enrichment. According to its representative, Rudolf Leška, CinemArt is demanding approximately CZK 1 million for the film Šarlatán. This amount was calculated as lost profits as a result of the film, which was awarded several Czech Lions, being offered by Ulož.to for free download. “We will proceed like CinemArt and claim unjust enrichment,”  Kutějová confirmed.

Prima is not alone. TV Nova has also brought actions over its series Ulice or Ordinace v růžové zahradě. The court granted its motion in January this year and issued a preliminary ruling ordering the platform to prevent any downloading of the series. However, petacloud ignored the ruling according to Nova, which is why Nova turned to the enforcement agent. “Our enforcement motion was granted and the operator of Ulož.to was fined for not respecting the preliminary ruling,” said Zdeňka Zimová, a senior lawyer at Nova. However, Karabina said that they had appealed against the enforcement decision and were confident that they would succeed, just as they had reportedly succeeded in overturning other preliminary rulings.

Ulož.to is not the only platform where you can download films, TV series or audiobooks. However, the owners of copyrighted works do not have such disputes with them. “Ulož.to is the biggest, they are the most visible,” explains Leška.

It is also true that, for example, Hellspy and Hellshare entered into an agreement with Prima, Nova and Óčko last year to deploy automated filters to prevent pirate distribution of recordings and films. A month ago, Hellspy announced that it would cease operations because of the new law.