Romanian price war set to continue

By Chris Dziadul
April 14, 2010 10.40 UK

BUCHAREST BUSINESS BREAKFAST: Romania’s leading cable and DTH platforms is likely to go on for another 3-4 years, according to Dinu Malacopol, CEO of Digital Cable Systems (Akta). He added that price was a factor when the company was building its digital cable package, which was officially launched on March 1 this year.

However, different opinions were expressed as to the nature of this price war. Radu Petric, the president of the Romanian Cable Communications Association (ACC), said he did not envisage new revenue streams “just out of content in the next two years”, adding that “the basic tier is where the revenue is”.

Customers want “as many channels for as little as possible” and the take-up of premium services was low. HBO, for instance, has a cable penetration rate of 5-15% in urban areas and less than 5% in rural parts of the country.

Mirek Smyk, general manager, TV business division, Romtelecom, meanwhile said there is no price war in the pay-TV market in Romania. Rather it is in the fixed line and broadband sectors, where prices have been falling considerably.