EXCLUSIVE: Pay-TV platform bobbles.tv folds, blaming piracy
November 6, 2019 21.43 Europe/London By Jörn Krieger
Pay-TV platform bobbles.tv, which provided expats throughout Europe with TV channels from their home country, has ceased operations, as CEO Arnold C. Kulbatzki confirmed to Broadband TV News.
“The pan-European TV platform bobbles.tv targeted around 15 million expats in Europe with programme packages from China, Indonesia, Korea, Pakistan, Vietnam and India,” Kulbatzki said. “Piracy in this market segment has increased rapidly again in the last two years. Despite a positive response, this race could unfortunately not be won in the long run.”
However, Kulbatzki does not see this as a final withdrawal: “As soon as the market conditions, especially the legal framework, change, we will be back in business. It remains an attractive market.”
The platform launched on Astra (19.2° East) in August 2016, combining DTH satellite broadcasting with internet TV streaming (OTT).
In an interview with Broadband TV News in March 2017, Kulbatzki conceded that piracy poses a threat in this market, as many people use illegal streaming services to receive TV channels from their home countries. But he was confident at the time that bobbles.tv’s “aggressive pricing” and the fact that “people enjoy the convenience of a legal, quality service” would make the venture a success.