No More Free Ukraine Channels!
From Chris Dziadul Broadband TV News.com: Winds of change reach Ukraine
Ukraine’s broadcast industry is undergoing an important transformation.
Earlier this week its four leading media groups – 1+ 1 Media, StarLightMedia, Inter Media Group and Media GroupUkraine – encrypted their satellite-delivered TV channels in a move that was widely promoted and expected to provide a major boost for the pay-TV sector. It will be followed this Saturday, February 1, by the launch of a new premium sports channel named Futbol 3. Operated by Media Group Ukraine, it will join its existing channels Futbol 1 and 2 in offering viewers a wide range of content including matches from the premier football leagues in Spain, Italy, Germany, France and Belgium.
Quoting experts from the OTT/IPTV operator Divan.TV, the local publication Mediasat has suggested that the value of Ukraine’s OTT/ IPTV market could grow from $30 million to $400 million over the next five years. This will in large part be driven by the encryption that took place earlier this week, with an estimated 4 million – other sources put the figure at up to 4.5 million – DTH households no longer being able to watch up to 23 leading Ukrainian TV channels free of charge.
Divan.TV estimates that there are currently between 800,000 and 1 million subscribers to OTT/IPTV services in Ukraine, with ARPU being $3. These figures could grow to as much as 6 million and $5.5 respectively by 2023, though this will depend on such factors as national legislation and in particular the possible taxation of foreign on demand services.
Furthermore, up to 1 million viewers outside the country may be interested in receiving Ukrainian OTT services. This market, which Divan.TV is already serving, could be worth up to $90 million a year and provide ARPU of $7.
These changes have come alongside positive news from the DTH platform Viasat Ukraine, which recently reached the 100,000 subscriber-mark.
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No change over Europe by satellite, but inside Russia the terrestrial transmitters are all ready to go Digital, the last analogue channels will be closed in Jan 2019. These actually only now serve 10% of the population.
The latecomers to digital will be purchasing their new digital set top boxes, typically costing under 10 Euro. There is no doubt there will be a last minute rush to buy the digital equipment.
Strangely regional broadcasters have been left to their own schedules and will continue with analogue as long as they want to.
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