24 September the satellite platform Xtra TV, actually owned by the Media Group Ukraine, obtained a broadcasting licence. The future plans were little-known, as the media holding did not comment on details. The veil was lifted for the first time during the panel discussion “Pay Satellite TV: To be or not to be?” organized by Mediasat within TIM-2015 held on October 9.
Alexey Kurakin, Business Development Director at the Media Group Ukraine, says “that the reason for what happened to Xtra TV was rather a fault of the management, while the platform’s business model is of high quality and most consistent with the Ukrainian reality”. He also estimates the situation on the market as quite normal for a paid satellite platform’s operation. “If media groups agreed on encription, it would have a favorable effect on the development of DTH, but even in the current environment, the prospects do exist. It is no use being afraid of the “firedrake” (triple antenna for 4.0°W Amos, 4.9°E Astra 4A, 13.0° Hot Bird satellites – Mediasat), and we should cooperate with him”, as Mr. Kurakin states. The business model Xtra TV was targeted at the owners of “firedrakes” and it works. He also draws attention to the applicability of simulcrypt system in order not to put twice the TV channel to the satellite.
Prior to obtaining a licence, the platform was only used for broadcasting of the TV channels of Football family, the package of channels is actually in the working out, the Digital Screens is not still prepared to give more details, but it promises that the viewers will get access to them this year. Alexey Kurakin assures that the audience of the TV channels Football has increased in number despite of the non-football summer season, and now they are watched, and, what is most important, paid per view, by more viewers than ever before.
“Thus, the project Xtra TV is not just alive, but is actually a serious player in the market”, as Mr. Kurakin sums up. It is worth mentioning that not everyone shares the optimism of the Digital Screens. During discussions there sounded a lot of doubts about the allegedly favorable situation on the Ukrainian market.
Apostolos Triantafyllou, the Eutelsat’s representative in Ukraine, by drawing on international experience considers the TV channels’s coding to be the very prerequisite for a successful development of the satellite pay-TV.
Andrey Solomakha, Business Development Director at the HDFashion (a former employee at the DTH-platform Lybid TV) believes that the project is only possible when the media groups unite on the same platform.
Alexander Glushchenko, Member of the Social Council at the National TV and Radio Broadcasting Council, set out his point of view on the Mediasat’s blog.
We will get back to more detailed coverage of these really interesting discussions and statements of other speakers, and the video of the round table will be presented soon to your attention on the MediaSat’s web site.