Leading Polish players to launch OTT platform
October 25, 2019 11.18 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul
Poland’s Cyfrowy Polsat has entered into a joint venture with Discovery Communications Europe and TVN to launch an OTT streaming platform.
In a statement in its latest report, dated October 25, Cyfrowy Polsat says that although the platform will initially be targeted at Polish customers, the intention is to later expand it to other countries.
It adds that the platform will be operated by a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) on a 50:50 basis jointly controlled by Cyfrowy Polsat and Discovery.
The SPV will be a financially and operationally independent business venture and its initial financing, provided by Cyfrowy Polsat and Discovery, capped at PLN30 million (€7 million) for each party separately.
Both parties will be committed to provide additional financing in such amounts as the two agree at a later stage and Cyfrowy Polsat or its group companies will also conclude ancillary agreements, including licence agreements, related to the project, with other parties to the JV agreement or their group companies.
Cyfrowy Polsat notes that at this stage of the project the SPV has been established by itself. However, it will engage in operating activity and Discovery will acquire and take up its shares only after the relevant antimonopoly consent is obtained. Also at a later stage Discovery will be required to make a statement on the absence of obstacles to the implementation of the project.
The OTT platform operated by the SPV will provide viewers with access to, among others, movies, series, documentaries, sports and entertainment shows. It will offer content produced by the parties to the JV agreement, purchased from third party producers or produced by the SPV.
Furthermore, it will operate both in the advertising-funded model (AVOD) and, at a later stage, also in the paid model (SVOD/TVOD).
Commenting on the platform, Kasia Kieli, president & CEO Discovery EMEA, said: “This new venture fits squarely into our international strategy and belief that local broadcasters need to better satisfy consumer demand by aggregating their offerings and developing a strong local-content-led streaming service – just as we did in Germany with Joyn.
“Polish audiences will have a dizzying number of streaming options for international content, but this will undoubtedly be the home of the best Polish productions.”
Maciej Stec, deputy president for strategy at Cyfrowy Polsat and Polkomtel, the Plus network’s operator, added: “We are glad to be co-creating a project which is likely to become a real alternative to international OTTs. Our ambition is for the platform to offer the best and most advanced technological solutions. It is especially important that this project has the capability to bring Polish content to international viewers, too”.
Cyfrowy Polsat notes that the Player.pl (owned by TVN Discovery Polska) and Ipla.tv (owned by Cyfrowy Polsat) digital platforms will continue to be available to viewers.
Decisions on their future shape and role will be decided in due course.