Polish pay-TV in the spotlight

22.28 Europe/London, October 9, 2011 By Chris Dziadul

The Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) has produced a new report on the country’s pay-TV market and the competition that exists within it.
Although the collected data contained in the report refers principally to the years 2007-9, its general conclusions are still valid today.
According to the report, satellite services have the most subscribers (over 6 million, or 60% of the total), with nearly 2.7 million having been added in the two years to 2009.
The cable industry, which is the third largest in Europe, is meanwhile served by over 600 operators and has around 4.6 million subscribers.
The cable association PIKE says that over 60% of the cable market is claimed by the top four operators (this will now be the top three, following UPC Polska’s recent takeover of Aster).
Cable networks have gained fewer subscribers principally due to high build costs.
IPTV has meanwhile to get off the ground, with only four sub-regional cable operators providing services as of 2009.
The report notes that competition between operators takes place in particular local markets, not nationally.
Indeed, in many areas competition between DTH and cable is non-existent. It was these observations that led the UOKiK to impose pre-conditions on UPC Polska’s takeover of Aster earlier this autumn.