M7 Group eyes Hungarian platform

November 18, 2013 11.15 Europe/London By by Chris Dziadul and Robert Briel

Hello HD set-top boxLuxembourg-based M7 Group is evaluating the potential acquisition of the Hungarian DTH platform Hello HD.

Speaking to Broadband TV News, Jaromir Glisnik, a member of the board of the Group, said that any deal would likely to be completed in 2014 rather than this year.

He also said it is already working with Hello HD; Broadband TV News understands this to be through the integration of the Irdeto CA encryption system into the platform alongside Conax. At the moment, the channels Cool, Nickelodeon, SportKlub Hungary and TV Paprika have simulcrypt.

Glisnik also told Broadband TV News that the possible acquisition of Hello HD is not directly related to Skylink’s recent decision to start offering its subscribers Hungarian language channels.

He added that from a practical perspective, it should be borne in mind that Skylink employs the 23.5 degrees East position on Astra, while Hello HD uses 9 degrees East on Eutelsat.

Hello HD was launched in Hungary in May 2008 and initially had plans to expand to other CEE markets.

However, it has failed to make a strong impact on a Hungarian DTH sector dominated by Digi, T-Home and UPC Direct.

M7 Group already has a presence in the CEE region through the ownership of Skylink and CS Link in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The company is also very active in the German language market through its subsidiaries HDAustria and AustriaSat.