UPC Broadband Slovakia has no desire to enter into a race to offer the most HD channels and also has no intention of paying for them, according to Martin Miller, the company’s CEO.
Speaking at the Bratislava Business Briefing on HD services in Slovakia, organised jointly by Broadband TV News and Telenor Satellite Broadcasting, he added, “who is supposed to pay for additional costs of broadcasters and operators?”
Meanwhile, Andrej Dolezal, the technical director at RTVS, insisted that the public broadcaster would “never charge for access to public service media”.
RTVS has just reached an agreement with Skylink, the leading DTH platform in Slovakia (and the Czech Republic), over the distribution of its two HD channels.
RTVS’s strategy involves selling simulcrypt, “though we are not here to make money”. Its aim is to equalise conditions in the Slovak market.
Jaromir Glisnik, a member of the board at M7 Group, said lots of investment had gone into securing Skylink’s HD offer, which as of this month stands at 26 pay and 16 free channels.
On the other hand, Juraj Bóna, senior manager for product management in the mass market segment at Slovak Telekom, said that the IPTV service Magio already included HD services when launched in 2006.
They now number 40, eight in basic packages and 31 in premier sport, documentary and film packages, or more than that offered by any other provider in Slovakia.
However, “HD is becoming a standard and is no longer a value driver”.
Zdenko Rysavy, the technical director at TV Markiza, said that the CME-owned broadcaster switched off SD services on November 29, 2014.
Furthermore, it had invested $12 million on HD in the last three years