Polish DTH merger delayed
October 22, 2012 00.59 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

The Polish DTH platforms Cyfra+ and n will continue to compete with each other until at least the end of this year despite receiving permission to merge by the country’s competition authority UOKiK.

The news was given by Markus Tellenbach, the chairman of the board of TVN and CEO of the TVN Group, in an interview with Rzeczpospolita in which he said that the aim was now to finalise the transaction by the end of this year.

Tellenbach also dismissed talk that the delay was down to the different standards used by the two platforms – n employs MPEG-4, while some Cyfra+ subscribers still have MPEG-2 decoders – as rumours without any technical foundation.
Furthermore, without providing any details, he said that the new platform’s offer would take the best elements of currently provided by Cyfra + and n and “surprise the market.”

Cyfra+ and n combined will have around 2.5 million subscribers, or just over 1 million fewer that Cyfrowy Polsat, Poland’s leading DTH operation.
Canal+ Group, ITI Group and TVN Group reached an agreement to form a strategic partnership in December last year.

As part of the deal, Cyfra+ and n will be merged into a DTH platform in which the shareholders are Canal+ Group (51%), TV Group (32%) and UPC (17%).