Breakfast in Bucharest
June 6, 2008

Romania’s TV industry has come a remarkably long way since the country returned to democracy following the overthrow of the Ceausescu regime nearly two decades ago.

Starting with a single channel, state-run broadcaster offering little more than government propaganda, it has grown into one of the largest in South Eastern Europe and with a dynamism that puts many of its neighbours to shame.

Romania’s TV industry certainly has some truly unique features, some good and others perhaps less so. There can, for instance, be few people who follow developments in the region who do not by now know that the country has no fewer than five DTH platforms. It also has one of the largest cable markets in CEE, but at the same time precious little IPTV and no DTT operation.

While there is little sign of consolidation in the DTH sector – indeed, up until this week it had looked likely that Orange might launch a sixth platform, though its plans have now been shelved – it has left the cable market operating as a near duopoly, with UPC and RCS/RDS calling most of the shots.

The incumbent telco Romtelecom, which is backed by its Greek counterpart OTE, has meanwhile developed into a key player in the TV industry in the last 18 months with the success of its DTH platform Dolce, Its position will be strengthened still further when it finally launches an IPTV service.

Romania’s wider TV industry is dominated by such multimedia companies as Pro TV (backed by CME and its local partner Adrian Sarbu); Intact Media Group (owned by the Voiculescu family and behind the Antena group of channels); and Realitatea Media (operators of Realitatea TV and the Money Channel). It is also characterised by one of the most active content markets in the region, with cable, DTH and IPTV subscribers being offered a multitude of locally produced thematic channels.

All these issues and more will be discussed at the forthcoming Business Breakfast to be held at the SAS Radisson in Bucharest on Tuesday, June 17. Organised by Broadband TV News in association with Telenor Satellite Broadcasting, it will provide useful insights into the digital broadcasting market in Romania and its prospects for the future.

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