Most Polish cable operators are wary of the arrival of Netflix in the country and refuse to repeat the oft-quoted mantra of seeing the SVOD service as an opportunity rather than a threat.
That, at least, was the message from the floor during a panel discussion entitled Content available on TV OTT- limitless opportunities or dead end?
UPC Polska, the only operator represented in the panel, nevertheless painted a more positive picture, with Grzegorz Esz, its marketing director, saying they would like to partner with Netflix, just like Virgin Media has done in the UK.
However, even he raised two concerns, namely net neutrality, effectively how much capacity will be used by each provider, including Netflix; and whether or not Netflix would provide value. Certainly, a reduction in the margin would be something that would worry UPC Polska.
Significantly, in discussing Horizon, Esz said that the company is looking into the possibility of offering the service to customers who are not on their network.
Meanwhile Izabella Wiley, the head of A+E Networks UK in Poland, said Netflix would not have the first mover advantage in Poland it enjoyed in the US. It will also encounter operators already providing a wide array of advanced services.
She also gave the example, albeit from another industry, of a global brand (eBay) that had failed in Poland.