Europol has supported the Dutch Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (FIOD) in taking down an illegal IPTV service serving over one million users across Europe.
According to Europol, on May 23 a series of raids were carried out across the Netherlands as part of an illegal streaming crackdown. The officers from the FIOD searched properties in various locations in the country.
Several individuals were arrested on suspicion of involvement in the illegal streaming of premium content.
Packages bought by subscribers gave them access to over 10,000 live TV channels, alongside library of 15, 000 films and TV shows.
Europol adds that its European Financial and Economic Crime Centre supported this investigation with analytical support, helping identify the key targets and their criminal activity across Europe.
A number of operational meetings were organised by Europol to bring together the investigators in the different European countries affected by this criminal network.
Europol experts were also deployed in various locations in the Netherlands during the action day to support the FIOD in its enforcement activities.
The Association of Commercial Television (AKTV) wants foreign platforms like Netflix, HBO and Disney+ to contribute to the Audiovisual Support Fund in the same way as Czech services.
The domestic professional Association of Commercial Television (AKTV), which brings together the main commercial broadcasters on the Czech market, believes that the forthcoming amendment to the Audiovisual Act (Act 496/2012 Coll. on Audiovisual Works and Support for Cinematography) should level the market playing field and oblige international video-on-demand (VOD) operators to contribute to the Audiovisual Support Fund. This obligation currently applies only to domestic audiovisual on-demand service operators. “Although foreign platforms draw incentives and film here, they do not participate in the audiovisual support system. We want this to change,” said in an interview the president of AKTV, Klára Brachtlová, who is also the Chief External Affairs of the media group CME, the parent company of TV Nova.
Let’s start with your new role at AKTV, where you took on the role of president this year. In this context, you said that your priorities include the protection of copyright content and the involvement of commercial TV in the preparation of the amendment to the law on audiovisual. Is this still the case, or have any other priorities been added?
The short-term priority for us this year is definitely the transformation of the Cinematography Fund, while the fight against internet piracy is a key priority and an area that AKTV has been working on for a long time. So that has not changed and we expect intensive work and discussion. In my new role at AKTV, I intend to build on the work of my predecessors. AKTV celebrated its sixth anniversary this spring and in that time has become a relevant and respected association. What is new is that we will gradually want to expand our activities towards the wider public, whereas so far we have focused mainly on the professional public. One example is the educational content on our website on the topic of Internet piracy.
Let’s take a closer look at the two priorities you have set out. Let’s start with the amendment to the Audiovisual Act, which should include the transformation of the existing State Cinematography Fund into an Audiovisual Fund. At what stage are the preparations for the amendment of the law?
Firstly, it should be stressed that the amendment of the law is necessary. The Czech audiovisual industry now operates under legislation that is more than a decade old and in no way reflects what has happened on the market. I am referring primarily to the dynamic digitalisation of the media and the entry of foreign video platforms (VOD) into our market. Although the need for new legislation has been discussed for more than two years, the process of preparation is still at an early stage and has only been intensified since January this year. We shall see how quickly the preparations progress. According to the ambitious plan of the Ministry of Culture, the amendment should be ready by the middle of this year.
Regardless of the timing of the preparations, what do you consider essential for the amendment to deliver from the perspective of commercial broadcasters?
For us, it is absolutely essential that the amendment levels the playing field between foreign VOD platforms such as Netflix, HBO Max or Disney+ and domestic VOD platforms, but at the same time does not upset the delicate balance that currently exists in the market. At the moment, the obligation to pay fees to the existing Cinematography Fund applies only to Czech entities, i.e. Voyo and now also to the Prima+ service. Domestic audiovisual media service providers pay 0.5% of their revenues annually. Although foreign platforms receive incentives and film here, they do not participate in the audiovisual support system. We want this to change.
Do you have a more concrete idea of how much multinational providers should contribute to the fund?
We believe that it would be enough to unify the conditions for domestic and foreign platforms. Domestic VOD platforms contribute 0.5% of their annual revenues, which should also apply to foreign ones. Many European countries have solved this in this way. Thus, it would be sufficient to add to the law in the relevant section that the 0.5% fee also applies to international providers. I do not think it is necessary to increase the percentage paid in support. Just by getting more entities involved in support, the levies would be multiplied. Moreover, the VOD market in general is growing rapidly, further increasing the amount of money paid in. In discussions at the Ministry of Culture, there have been proposals for a 2% levy, which we do not agree with. This is a leapfrog increase, and we do not like it. There is also consideration of introducing into the levy a mandatory obligation for foreign platforms to reinvest part of their revenues in the Czech Republic in the form of direct investment in Czech content.
This form of reinvestment is supported by Czech producers. How do commercial TV players feel about it?
I have been working in commercial entities all my life and therefore have a strong attitude towards such a proposal. I very much respect the conditions of the free market, which is why I don’t think it’s a good idea for the state to interfere in any way with how a commercial entity should handle its profits. I consider that to be the wrong way to go. We know that the possible reinvestment requirement is based on a recommendation from the European Union, but it is not the duty of Member States to introduce it.
TV Nova’s parent company, CME, and Prima, which launched Prima+ this year, all agree that they are investing the most in original local production in their history. By how much has the introduction of VOD platforms by these entities increased the cost of content production?
If I simplify it, it will be multiples of the investments made in previous years. On Voyo Original alone, it’s hundreds of millions of crowns a year extra that are being put into premium Czech productions.
In your opinion, what else should the amendment contain?
Part of the changes to the law would include extending support from cinema to the entire audiovisual industry, and therefore, in addition to cinema, to so-called small screens, which includes video platforms. This is therefore one area where the Fund’s resources are being spent. The second part of the Fund is incentives. Until now, there have been certain obstacles that have prevented Czech entities from applying for incentives. For example, setting the minimum price per episode of a work at CZK 8 million. Commercial entities can produce such an episode more efficiently and for less money, and this setting alone is an obstacle to Czech entities reaching for incentives. One year it happened that three foreign projects used up almost the entire budget of the fund. This is also absurd given that foreign platforms do not pay taxes in this country and do not contribute to the fund.
The current law on cinema support also obliges you, as a commercial TV entity, to pay 2% of your annual advertising revenue to support Czech cinema. With Nova gradually launching the Voyo video platform and Prima launching the Prima+ online service this year, you must pay the levy twice as a single operating entity…
Yes, we pay for each service separately. So TV Nova pays as a linear TV broadcaster from advertising revenue and also as a provider of the Voyo pay VOD platform. The TV stations are the biggest payer and pay around CZK 150 million to the Fund every year. With the envisaged transformation into an Audiovisual Fund, support could be directed not only to works intended for cinemas, but also to projects for VOD platforms and TV.
Income of the Cinema Fund in 2023 (in millions CZK); Source: State Cinematography Fund budget for 2023
And is it possible that you could also qualify for support?
Hard to say. The concept of the fund will be approved by the board of directors, which will have 15 members, in which we as taxpayers can have one or two votes. The specific projects will then be decided by the boards. So we will have no influence on which projects the fund will support.
In terms of content protection activities, specifically the fight against pirated content, do you feel that it is moving for the better?
Of course, the Copyright Act gives us some protection, and we welcomed its recent amendment. But the problem is the actual enforcement, which unfortunately still does not work as the legislator intended. The courts do not have sufficient expertise, are slow and interpret the law in a very formalistic way. When a platform that distributes our content without a licence purposely identifies itself as a cloud storage platform and claims that it does not provide any content itself, the law is short on that. Although the situation is slowly moving, the overall situation in the Czech Republic is not ideal. The fight against online piracy is costing us a huge amount of time and resources and depriving not only us, but the entire creative and cultural industry of considerable resources. We have no doubt that this is a distortion of market conditions and unfair competition. Unless there is local political will and the courts follow the recommendations, not much will change. One possible solution would be to amend the aforementioned Audiovisual Act, which could come up with a solution to deal more conceptually and out of court with platforms with illegally shared content. Possible amendments to civil or criminal law could also help. Such repositories have already disappeared abroad, so we believe that the situation here will gradually improve. Moreover, the number of people paying for online content in our country is increasing as legal content becomes more accessible.
KLÁRA BRACHTLOVÁ: She has been President of AKTV since the beginning of 2023, and at the same time, she was appointed to the position of Chief External Affairs of CME, the parent company of TV Nova. She has worked in the finance section of the Nova Group since 2007. She held successive positions in reporting, financial planning and analysis, from 2012 she was Deputy CFO, from 2014 CFO, later Managing Director and from 2019 CEO of TV Nova.
The Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE) has shut down Spain’s top illegal streaming and torrent service, AtomoHD.
According to ACE, AtomoHD was launched in 2020 by a group of individuals, some of whom had prior convictions in Spain for intellectual property infringement and to evade justice, fled to Andorra. AtomoHD enabled users to illegally stream and download content from a VOD library of more than 13,000 movies and 4,500 TV series in Spanish and other languages. The pirated content impacts all ACE members.
Since its inception, the site logged 235 million visitors, averaging 9.7 million monthly visits and 484,000 unique visitors. Ninety percent of the online traffic originated in Spain, followed by the US, Germany, and France. AtomoHD was operating via 60 website domains.
Commenting on the development, Jan van Voorn, executive VP and global content protection chief of the Motion Picture Association and Head of ACE, said: “This takedown represents yet another major victory by ACE over illegal content distributors.
“It is increasingly clear that major criminal operators like AtomoHD are not immune from ACE’s enforcement actions”.
The domains are being transferred to ACE and will be redirected to the “Watch Legally” page of the ACE website.
Local video platform Voyo will continue its set pace of investment in content production in the coming years. “The mathematics of the growth trajectory does not allow us to slow down,” says CME deputy CEO Dusan Švalek.
Central European Media Enterprises (CME), the parent company of TV Nova, is confident in the set strategy of its pay video platform Voyo and will continue with it. It sees its entry into the market as successful and expects Voyo to grow with the entire SVOD market in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. It predicts this will double by 2027. Voyo’s subscriber base now exceeds 500,000 in the Czech Republic and Slovakia and it wants to reach one million by 2025.
In a discussion with journalists, you presented estimates for the development of pay video on demand (SVOD) in the Czech Republic and Slovakia on behalf of the CME Group. They showed that you are optimistic and expect continued rapid growth in SVOD. Is it really realistic for Voyo to reach one million subscribers in both countries by 2025? On the contrary, are you not worried that growth will slow down after the initial rapid growth?
We firmly believe that we will reach that goal, although it will not be easy. We are basing this on several assumptions. Firstly, we see from developments in foreign markets that it is possible to reach that number of subscribers. We have seen it in America, Scandinavia, Britain, so our ambition is based on an estimate of where the Czech market can go. Secondly, we believe we are well on our way. We were the first of the local players to enter the market and have made significant investments. They pay off after some time, plus new things are coming in and everything builds on the other. Sequels are coming to series that viewers already know and talk about with friends and acquaintances, and that helps to further expand the user base. Third, we trust our team. We’ve brought in a number of great people with a wide range of expertise. These are people who understand content production, video and digital media and bring a completely different perspective. It’s the digital part that we’re expanding the most.
Does the data you have show you the differences between the TV Nova or TV Markiza audience and the Voyo audience?
Yes, we see that Voyo viewers are a little bit younger than the viewers of linear TV channels. This reflects that the technological adaptation of the new way of consuming video is easier for the Internet generation. I’m not saying it’s a rule, but it started there, and thus the ratio is a bit higher.
You also talked about Voyo’s heavy investment in content as a necessity for such a service to compete with multinational players. Will you continue to invest in Voyo as much as you have been, or do you foresee more use of the archive in the future?
As far as the library of titles is concerned, it will certainly have some value, there are already 2,000 films in it, for example. And we keep buying because we believe there is room to build the library even stronger and that our viewers will return to it repeatedly. And add to that our own titles, both for linear broadcast and directly for Voyo, like Iveta or Král Šumavy (King of the Bohemian Forest), which are ageless and have high production value. Our ambition is to create quality stuff – premium video content.
We definitely want to keep up the pace of investment for the period we are projecting now. Because the math of the growth trajectory doesn’t allow us to have a lower pace. It’s important that we see a return on investment at the end of the journey. Mainly so that we can reinvest the profits back into producing new titles and new content.
How do you calculate the return? Through monetization of subscribers or also through advertising in linear broadcasting, where some Voyo titles also appear or appear later?
That depends on exactly how we allocate content on a channel-by-channel basis. The bulk of the titles will only be on Voyo and it’s relatively straightforward there. Some titles go on Voyo first and with some delay to linear TV – most often a week in the case of series previews and our entertainment shows, and some titles only appear with more time. But that decision is still to be made as to what mix we will choose and whether we will want to put more shows from Voyo into linear TV. We put the first truly Voyo Original Případ Roubal (The Roubal Case) on Voyo towards the end of 2021 and you still couldn’t see it on TV.
The return on investment is projected for 2025?
As Didier Stoessel (CEO of CME, ed.) said, we are already approaching the payback in this period.
According to your estimates, the number of households using SVOD in the country will double by 2027. How will this growth be reflected in the number of Voyo subscribers? How many might it have in 2027?
I wouldn’t like to speculate on that. Our ambition is to deliver the best local SVOD service. We are building on local content and we want to lead the market and be the number one choice for users to watch local content. All numbers, market shares and quantitative targets are based on this core strategy.
From the beginning, you have profiled Voyo as an ad-free platform. Isn’t that closing the door to more subscribers and to some of the revenue you would have earned by selling advertising?
This is a question of the focus we have chosen. We might have gained some customers by introducing a hybrid model, but we would also have lost many of them. Because if you’re going to introduce something like that, you need to focus on it, you need to support it and promote it. Every company with big ambitions has to choose its battlefield. Our battleground for this growth phase is a paid service with no advertising, and we’re putting all our resources into it, setting the mentality, customizing the product. We believe it’s the best we can do for this stage of market development. And we have the data to back us up: the top five benefits of Voyo include being ad-free.
The acquisition of Impression Media will see Media Club increase its reach in the online advertising market. Advertising prices will remain unchanged in the joint offer, but agency bonuses will be removed.
The joint commercial offers for selected products from 1 May will bring Media Club and Impression Media together following the property merger in March this year, when Prima Group acquired an 80% stake in online media agency Impression Media. The flagship is the newly created Add Up package with almost 190 websites reaching 6.4 million real users per month, making it the number two on the Czech Internet (source: NetMonitor, traffic from the Czech Republic). In addition, there are also thematically targeted new packages on offer. The advertising prices remain, but the agency bonuses have been abolished.
Thanks to the acquisition of Media Club, online advertising inventory is also increasing its reach. Impression Media is looking to focus more on programmatic sales of audio, video and, prospectively, television thanks to the partnership with Media Club. The two companies will continue to operate independently, say Petr Hatlapatka, commercial director of Media Club’s online division, and Roman Stolejda, CEO of Impression Media.
Why did you consider acquiring Impression Media in the first place? For what reason is it interesting for Media Club?
Petr Hatlapatka: Primarily we were interested in how we can increase our reach. That was decisive in our thinking about whether or not to enter Impression Media. We are the largest representation in the TV and radio market and have similar ambitions online. But perhaps even more fundamental in the decision was how Impression Media’s sites complement our sites. Because even if the overall increase in intervention was high, but we would have overlapped with Impression Media’s offering in the end, the acquisition would not have made much sense. Even from an offer perspective, we complement Impression Media well. Media Club has a large video production thanks to Prima, while Impression is strong in banner advertising and delivers content that is not as well represented here. So the main thing was the shape of the final product and how it can help us increase sales.
I would like to clarify that we have joined Impression Media with an 80% stake, but Impression Media is not joining the Media Club. The companies remain separate and operate side by side. We completed the acquisition in March and the client contracts are set for this year and remain in place as such. Each company has its own products and we will only link products where it makes sense for us to do so.
For Media Club, the hit that the Impression Media acquisition will bring was interesting. What will the ownership tie-up bring to Impression Media?
Roman Stolejda: We realize that Impression Media cannot grow without a great partner. We have reached a ceiling as a media agency, we have 153 sites in our portfolio, which is quite a lot, but to continue to grow, joining with a strong partner was a necessity for us. Prima has a lot of ambition in the online market and we can help each other.
The second thing is that with the departure of CSFD.cz two years ago, we basically lost our video inventory and thanks to the merger with Prima, we can now bring it back in a big way. Plus, by combining our offerings, we can offer something that nobody here has. That’s interesting for us. Media Club is also interested in developing other projects – we have introduced audio programmatic at Impression Media and we are in talks to expand it here. This would mean that we would be the only ones to offer programmatic audio nationwide. And there are other possibilities. My colleague David Bauckmann has talked at length about television programmatic. That is definitely the future, and we are ready to introduce programmatic TV.
Photo: Roman Stolejda, Source: TV Prima
How does the Media Club feel about programmatic TV?
Petr Hatlapatka: We are closely following the development of programmatic TV spot advertising sales in the world. In a very simplistic way, we can say that in countries where a large part of TV distribution is done over the Internet, programmatic buying is also developed. In the Czech Republic, the situation is very different due to a very strong terrestrialization. In terms of programmatic, we are closest to IPTV operators. So we are very interested in this, but it is a question of when it is realistic to bring programmatic to life so that it makes not only business sense, but also product sense – towards clients.
It has already been mentioned that Impression will stand next to Media Club. Is it the case that you remain at the helm of Impression Media and are responsible for running the business?
Roman Stolejda: The fact that we are staying with David Bauckmann was part of the terms of the transaction in order to maintain the continuity of the company. And we are glad for that. The goal is to build a business group way larger than it is today. We have always tried to do local business, but next to Radiohouse (it belongs to Media Bohemia as well as Impression Media, ed.) we could no longer develop the business as we imagined. Here, on the other hand, there is a will to develop the local business in a big way and the advantage is that there are radio and TV salesmen available alongside online salesmen.
You mentioned that the acquisition of Impression Media complements the reach well. What exactly are the overlaps between the users of the two entities?
Petr Hatlapatka: We have already presented clients with advertising packages that we have created together. The biggest one is called Add Up and it reaches 6.4 million people on the Czech market. It has reached 6.5 million RU and 305 million page views. This makes it the second largest on the Czech Internet after Seznam.cz. It goes across all Impression Media and Media Club websites. It is our flagship site and both Media Club and Impression Media have it in their price lists. It includes formats like DLB branding, pre-roll, interscroller etc. Thematic packages consist of sites focused on cars, housing and hobbies, video, women, entertainment and news (see details below).
More targeted offers in addition to the main Add Up are also offered by Media Club and Impression Media?
Petr Hatlapatka: Yes, but only packages. For example, as Media Club we have the Autosalon.tv website, which is already sold out. The moment we create an auto package, we incorporate Impression Media’s sites into it and that increases our capacity to sell. So we are increasing the advertising space, which is one of the main benefits.
Source: TV Prima
Source: TV Prima
From which date are the price lists for these packages valid?
Petr Hatlapatka: They came into force on 1 May. The important thing is that we are keeping the same prices, i.e. we are not increasing prices. By combining them at the package level, we are getting closer to TV and we are abolishing agency bonuses for 2023. So for Media Club we will have the same terms across our media types. We are not raising prices, even though the inflation rate signaled by the CSO shows an increase of about 30% over the last two years.
So from 1 May it is possible to buy packages from Media Club or Impression Media. However, Impression Media will not sell advertising on CNN Prima News or Prima, for example. We will sell it together. Impression Media has its own portfolio of sites, and so do we, and we’ll only interact at the level of joint packages.
One thing is how many real users the merger will bring, the other thing is what opportunities the merger will bring at the level of advertising capacity. Does it help you in eGRP capacity, for example?
Petr Hatlapatka: If we talk about overall capacity, Impression Media is bigger than Media Club in terms of page views. Page views is a relevant metric for display advertising. However, in the case of video advertising, we are interested in video views and viewing time. That’s a different metric. When it comes to eGRPs, they have strict rules regarding viewability, audio on and content quality. If these rules are met on Impression Media sites, we can run eGRPs there. To simplify, these standards are so strict that they de facto apply to TV content uploaded to the web.
Could this have any impact on Media Club’s business policy regarding eGRP representation in the bundle?
Petr Hatlapatka: Not at the moment. We’re not even talking about running eGRPs on Impression Media sites yet. We’ll probably talk about it, but in the case of eGRPs, what we’re most interested in right now is that they can be deployed to IPTV operators where we’re replacing spots with online advertising. But that’s not related to Impression Media.
Will the combination of your products affect the rate of space sold programmatically?
Roman Stolejda: We cannot provide specific numbers, but Impression Media sells more than half of its space programmatically. Media Club, on the other hand, builds a lot on private deals. I think our know-how in programmatic sales could help the whole Media Club. We would be happy to get video on as many of our sites as possible with Prima’s help. This would help us grow higher.
Petr Hatlapatka: We are preparing a video platform project based on Prima videos, which we are able to offer to websites using an embedded player. We are discussing how much video content and what type of video content we will be releasing towards these sites. All 153 sites represented by Impression Media will have access to the video and will be able to take videos from Prima and use them on their own site. This would increase the reach of the video. With Prima’s sites we will reach about 3.5 million real users per month. If we can expand video to at least a third to half of Impression Media’s sites, we can increase the reach of video by leaps and bounds. This makes us much more interesting for video advertising clients. If we have 4.5 million or 5 million users, that’s a substantial increase. Our basic calculation shows that we will grow the video advertising market by about one million users.
Roman Stolejda: That’s money that these sites can’t touch right now, practically.
Is the video advertising market ready for this, isn’t it just filling an already saturated space? Is there enough money in it and will it be possible to monetize so many videos?
Petr Hatlapatka: In the period from September to Christmas, video advertising across the market is mostly sold out. We see that the sell-out rate is increasing. Even though we’re increasing video inventory every year, the sell-through is increasing. We’re already having a little bit of trouble meeting all the demand in the spring. So far, we’re doing well, but if the demand for video advertising goes up by, say, 20%, we won’t meet it.
So you are counting on online video inventory to increase quite significantly. What will you do with it?
Petr Hatlapatka: It will mainly increase the reach, which is what we’re primarily interested in, and that will increase the inventory. But we don’t expect to put long videos on the upcoming video platform. That’s why people come to prima+ and why they pay for it. But we are thinking about news videos or hobby or car videos. We have a lot of content.
Would it be videos created in addition to the ones you already have for Prima?
Petr Hatlapatka: No, it would be content that is produced for Prima. For example, in the production of Autosalon, we cut reports for online that are often longer than for TV.
Roman Stolejda: There are two possibilities: either the web editors themselves will take the videos from the central video platform and put them on their websites, or we will assign them according to topics.
Will the agreement with the Media Club change the portfolio of Impression Media, or will some Media Bohemia sites drop out of it?
Roman Stolejda: The only website that remains in Media Bohemia is Radia.cz. It has never been part of Impression Media. Radio websites, such as Hitrádia, were not part of Impression either. But as far as audio programmatic is concerned, we continue to handle that for Media Bohemia.
And do you offer audio formats like podcasts?
Roman Stolejda: Not yet, but we are planning to create them.
Petr Hatlapatka: For example, on CNN Prima News we are already preparing a lot of podcasts. We just need to figure out a more user-friendly solution and then we could monetize the podcasts better. We have the content here, but we need to prepare it so that we can sell it through the Impression Media software.
At Impression Media, you were focused on programmatic audio sales. What plans do you have for it at Media Club?
Roman Stolejda: We see an opportunity to really create a product for programmatic audio buying across the country. That’s not available anywhere in Europe. European broadcasters usually have only a part, but never the whole market. It would be possible now because the whole market could be linked – Evropa 2, Frekvence 1, Media Bohemia are already ready and Kiss and Impuls could join them. At that point the possibilities for big orders from Europe are already opening up. We know there would be interest. The magic of audio programming is that the ad spot can be inserted into the audio at the moment the listener is actually listening to it, and the ad system will target those listeners it assesses as relevant. Thus, each listener may hear a different spot.
The Association of Commercial Television and Video on Demand Services wishes to express its dismay at the Commission’s Recommendation on combatting online piracy of sports events and other live content.
While there is no question that several items within this recommendation are absolutely adequate and necessary; this is eclipsed by the unjustifiable length of the review procedure.
While we remain committed to a dialogue with the Commission we are rather puzzled as to how this aligns with the repeated calls from Members of the European Parliament, Member States and stakeholders across Europe for action on this matter.
Allowing European creative, cultural and sports industries and creators to ensure their investments are protected is the very expression of ensuring the Commission’s digital credo is followed: What is illegal offline should be illegal online.
The support for a dedicated instrument remains very high and required given the impact of piracy on Europe’s creative economy. Europe can and should act expeditiously. Particularly where this is separate to the DSA implementations process which sets a horizontal set of rules but does not address the required expeditious measures to tackle piracy of live content. Further there are no barriers, whether technical or legal (particularly as pertains to fundamental rights), which hinder a speedier review.
This is unfortunate and we can only encourage the next Commission to ensure new political guidance is given to alter this timeframe.
Commenting on the result, Grégoire Polad, ACT Director General stated:
“This essentially allows the present Commission to deliver little to nothing on this issue (despite a clear Parliamentary mandate to do so) before the end of this mandate; and, simultaneously makes it very improbable for the next legislature to have the required time to adopt hard legislation if the recommendation is deemed inadequate. This is a political and unilateral decision that will cost Europe’s creative economy dearly at a time when it needs it most.”
The meeting of TV and radio broadcasting experts will take place for the 18th time this year on Wednesday 14 June in Prague.
Participants of the 18th annual DIGIMEDIA 2023 conference, which will take place on Wednesday 14 June 2023 in the Congress Hall of Czech Television in Prague’s Kavčí Hory, will have the unique opportunity to watch a discussion between the CEOs of the three largest Czech television groups, i.e. Czech Television, TV Nova and FTV Prima, and to participate in a panel debate with them. Among others, Petr Dvořák, CEO of ČT, Daniel Grunt, CEO of TV Nova, and Marek Singer, CEO of FTV Prima, have already confirmed their participation in the event.
“The cast of this year’s DIGIMEDIA will be even richer. Štěpán Wolde, CEO of the Óčko TV group, and Michaela Suráková, Managing Director of Atmedia Czech, will also be present. As well as representatives of the largest TV and radio broadcasters in the Czech Republic, the CEO of Czech Radio Communications Miloš Mastník and the co-owner of Digital Broadcasting Nikola Chrenčíková Pařízková,”
says Pavel Brabec, President of the Association of Czech Advertising Agencies and Marketing Communications (AČRA-MK), which is organising the DIGIMEDIA 2023 conference in cooperation with Czech Television.
The Chairman of the CTU Council and the presidents of AKTV and APMS will also be presented.
The conference will traditionally be divided into three thematic blocks focusing on television broadcasting, streaming services and the digitalisation of radio broadcasting. In the first block, DIGIMEDIA 2023, in the presence of the new Chairman of the Council of the Czech Telecommunications Office, Mark Ebert, representatives of the Ministry of Industry and Trade and terrestrial TV network operators and TV stations, will focus on preparations for the autumn World Radiocommunication Conference WRC-23, which will address the future of terrestrial TV after 2030, when the guarantee of the 500 and 600 MHz frequency bands for TV broadcasting is due to end. It will also focus on the issue of financing public service television, the development of new broadcasting standards as well as terrestrial TV broadcasting designed for 5G Broadcast mobile devices.
The second session of the conference will focus on streaming services, IPTV and other forms of TV content distribution beyond terrestrial broadcasting. It will include representatives of the largest domestic streaming platforms Voyo, iBroadcast CT, prima+, as well as representatives of operators who provide the necessary infrastructure for them, such as Marcel Procházka, Director of the Regulatory and Legal Department of Czech Radio Communications. The hot topic will be the introduction of new tariffs for streaming services with advertising, the fight against content pirates and illegal sharing of films and TV series on Internet storage sites, and the preparation of applications for smart TVs and other smart devices available on the Czech market.
What will be the exact procedure in the auction of frequencies for DAB+?
In the third session, the DIGIMEDIA 2023 conference will focus on the development of digital radio broadcasting in the Czech Republic, in particular on the auction of frequencies for DB+ networks intended for commercial radio. The session, which will be attended by René Zavoral, Director General of Czech Radio, Jiří Duchač, Head of the Frequency Spectrum Management Department of the Czech Radio Office, Jakub Juhas, Managing Director of Digital Broadasting and Progress Digital, and Miroslav Pýcha, Managing Director of Joe Media, will also touch upon the introduction of electronic radio listenership measurement, the improvement of the in-door coverage of the Czech Radio’s digital network, and the plans of commercial radio stations to create new thematic stations for digital distribution.
The DIGIMEDIA 2023 conference is held under the auspices of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Ministry of Culture, the Czech Telecommunications Authority and the Broadcasting Council. The general partner of the event is Czech Television, which traditionally provides the venue for the event and will broadcast the entire conference live on iVysílání.cz, where a complete recording of the event will also be available. Among the partners of the conference are also Atmedia Czech, Media partners of the conference are Marketing and Media weekly, MediaGuru.cz, Televizníweb.cz and AVERIA titles – ICT Network News, B2B Network News.
The detailed programme of the DIGIMEDIA 2023 conference and registration forms for participants can be found at www.acra-mk.cz.
The purpose of this Recommendation is to combat online piracy of sports and other live events. As regards sports live events, it is necessary to encourage Member States and all relevant stakeholders to take effective measures against unauthorised retransmission of live sports events, while guaranteeing the necessary safeguards to protect fundamental rights.
On 4 May 2023, the European Commission adopted a recommendation on ways to combat commercially-oriented online piracy of broadcasts of sports and other live events such as concerts or theatre performances. It encourages Member States, national authorities, rights holders and intermediary service providers to take effective, balanced and appropriate measures to combat unauthorised transmissions (streaming), in full compliance with fundamental rights and data protection rules. The Recommendation is intended to help step up the fight against this type of internet piracy and, as a result, strengthen the competitiveness of the EU’s sports and creative industries.
The Association of Commercial Television invites for Czech speakers in the programme of Nextv Ad Europe and Nextv Series Europe conferences. The conferences will bring news from the advertising and media industry and will take place in Prague on 10th – 12th May 2023. You can look forward to topics from advertising, OTT and VOD. The Association of Commercial Television (AKTV) is the media partner of the event.
Don’t miss these panels featuring speakers from ACPV members:
10. května – Nextv AD Europe:
Iva Dohnálková, Business Development Manager, TV Nova – Advertising innovations from FTA broadcasters
Petr Miláček, Director of Analyses, FTV Prima – Audience measurement in the OTT Era
11. května – Nextv SERIES Europe:
Daniel Grunt, CEO, TV Nova – OTT competition: Is there room for new players? / The changing landscape of the TV and OTT market in CEE
Jakub Strýček, Marketing Director, TV Nova – OTT competition: Is there room for new players?
Jan Vlček, Group Revenue Officer, CME – FTA´ s role in the streaming landscape
12. května– Nextv SERIES Europe:
Josef Beneš, VOD Director, TV Prima – The Changing Landscape of the TV and OTT market in CEE
Daniel Grunt, CEO, TV Nova – The changing landscape of the TV and OTT market in CEE
Silvia Majeská, Program Director, TV Nova – Surge of SVOD: Content Strategies of Pay TV and Brodacasters
The Czech Television stations remained the strongest in the general audience in April. However, the gap at the top has narrowed, with Nova improving the most among the top three groups in April.
Czech Television stations recorded a cumulative share of 28.97% in all-day broadcasting in the audience group over 15 years of age in April this year and maintained their leading position in TV viewership. The Prima group remained a close second in this group, while the Nova group improved the most among the top three. At the same time, the Nova group remained the strongest in prime time 15+ in April, as well as in the 15-54 and 15-69 audience categories in both daytime and evening. This is according to official ATO-Nielsen measurement data.
Alongside the Nova group, Atmedia’s representation has been the most successful year-on-year, as well as Television Seznam, which reached a market share of almost 2% in April (15+, all day). Television Seznam’s growth is also helped by Atmedia, as Atmedia is also a seller of advertising space for this TV channel.
In prime time, the Nova group grew the most year-on-year, with Atmedia and Television Seznam also posting higher gains.
Source: ATO-Nielsen, 1.4.-30.4. 2023, TV live+ TS0-3 ke dni 2.5. 2023, prime-time = 19:00-23:00Among the individual TV stations, besides the aforementioned Television Seznam, which benefited from its Easter broadcast, the sports channel CT Sport, the main channels Nova and CT1, and the thematic channels Nova Cinema, Nova Gold, Nova Action, Prima Zoom, Prima Krimi and CNN Prima News had better results this April than in the same month last year. FilmBox and FilmBox Stars also performed well.
The most watched programmes in April were the series Volha (CT1), Specialists (Nova), Odznak Vysočina (Nova), Cuckoos 2 (CT1), Televizní noviny (Nova) and ZOO (Prima).
The Association of Commercial Television, whose founding members are the Nova, Prima and Óčko television groups, joins the celebrations of the launch of television broadcasting in the Czech Republic. Television broadcasting in the Czech Republic was launched on 1st May 1953. To mark the occasion, AKTV is publishing a timeline with an overview of the most important milestones of television broadcasting.
1st May marks seventy years since the launch of television broadcasting in the Czech Republic. Since its inception, the television screen has become an integral part of living rooms, a place where generations of viewers have kept a keen eye on important events and significant milestones in world history. But television is also a centre of entertainment and amusement. Even the advent of the internet has not brought a decline in the popularity of television.
Television remains the most popular medium in today’s digital age. Its unrivalled advantage is its huge reach (95% of the TV population per month), its huge viewership and the fact that it appeals to all age groups.
AKTV joins in the congratulations and happily wishes the broadcaster many happy viewers and many more successful decades. To mark the occasion, it is releasing a timeline with an overview of the most important milestones of the broadcaster.