Polish Public Television (TVP) has launched a digital platform which offers free access to all public channels including TVP Kultura and TVP HD. The free offer will also extend to a movie series channel under the TVP brand. Subscribers who decide to pay a PLN 50 activation fee will also gain access to key channels of private broadcasters such as and Polsat, with this extension taking place in December 2009. Future plans also include extending the offer to additionally paid thematic channels. The thematic channel offer will allow the subscriber to pay only for selected thematic channels. TVP’s acting CEO Piotr Farfal emphasized that the firm’s public digital platform will not compete with key DTH players, who offer a large number of high quality channels. Instead, TVP will focus on those clients whose needs could be satisfied with access to 20 free channels and some 20 additional paid (but low cost) channels. Mr Farfal added that he expects TVP’s digital platform to gain 700k-900k subscribers in 2010.
We see the news as neutral for both Cyfrowy Polsat and TVN’s ‘n’ digital platform.
Even with TVP’s plans to extend its DTH portfolio by an additional 20 cheap channels, we do not believe the firm’s digital platform will represent any serious competition for the DTH units of either or Cyfrowy Polsat. In our view, the new DTH player will only compete on the cheapest CATV channel packages. We expect a neutral impact on the share prices of Cyfrowy Polsat and today.