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Sketches from KievMediaWeek

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KievMediaWeek conference held in September was the really outstanding event this year and pleased us with unusually nice news and discussions. The event was opened with a sensational news that FOX bought Ukrainian format of “Servant of the people”, and Netflix will show a movie shot on it. Need we say that it was the first time when Ukrainian product reached such a success?


“Kvartal 95, Ukraine” will be mentioned in the credits of each episode of the American TV series. I believe, this is the marker of both our level and our nationality”- said Vladimir Zelensky, the head of the studio, at the press conference on KievMediaWeek opening.


The next day of the conference also brought an interesting topic for discussion – cooperation with Korea. At first glance, this direction of the format purchases seems a little bit exotic, but TV series shot on Korean formats are really gaining popularity in the world. The few first serials shot on Ukrainian studios were also successful in Ukraine. Even Ambassador of Korea Lee Young Gu and the Head of the National Council Jury Artemenko visited KyivMediaWeek for the discussion of full-scale cooperation. Both officials and industry representatives of the both countries believe that this cooperation will be fruitful.


At Pay TV in Ukraine conference, current issues of the industry were traditionally discussed. Where to get the money? What to do with the pirates? Should TV channels be encoded or not?

The thesis that only self-regulation will save the market was the most popular opinion. Almost all the participants told that in different words.

Sergey Boyko, the president of Volia company at that time: “It is necessary to  change  the legislation totally, but not to put patches on the current law.”

Anna Pak, Discovery, said explaining why their company does not offer discounts on TV: «Louis Vouitton never cuts prices, this policy is aimed at maintaining the brand level”

Sergei Sozanovsky, Film.ua, immediately replied: “Oh, we have a plenty of that Louis Vouitton on Troeschinsky market…”.

Anatolii Salnik, Continent TV, told to Discovery and Fox representatives: «You only declare the fight against piracy, but in fact, don’t sue.”

Rodion Printsevsky, Fox, replied: “We once sued, but in the course of the investigation policemen said that they did not find the company’s office. This was the end.”

Jaroslav Pakholchuk, 1+1 Media: “Last year was the most productive ever, I do not remember the similar one. And we never talked so much about the fight against piracy, the industry development, and encoding. Media groups move towards Digital Pay-TV “. When asked why Ukrainian media groups are collaborating with the pirates, he said: “First you need to define who can be called pirates. We have our own black list,  whom we never work with. And also other media groups already have cooperated with some of that companies”

Sergei Sozanovsky: “If I were a media group, I would not wait until all agree. I would start the movement alone, I would go to negotiate with Volia, for instance.”

Fedor Grechaninov, StarLightMedia, believes that it would be a mistake if encoding channels immediately: “But media groups have never been so close to the introduction of encoding as it is now.”

Anna Pak added: “I see progress despite the decrease of the market. Earlier the subjects for negotiations with the market participants were only “How much?” and whether the price is suitable or not, now we are discussing how to build the right model. We are considered not as wealthy Americans, from where they can grab something, but as a partner.”

Apostolos Triantafyllou, Eutelsat: «After listening to the discussion, I can see that little has changed since last year. As I am Greek, then I give Gordian knot as an example. The more you try to untie it, the more it is tied. You need to cut it, or next year you will be discussing the same thing. “ Apostolos also advised not to reinvent the wheel, but to adopt the experience of other countries.

The guest from Serbia, Victoria Boklag, CEO of SBB telecommunications company, told about  the example of building a successful pay-TV platform:

“15 years ago, the situation in the post-war Serbia was not better than it is now in Ukraine. Piracy flourished, the package with a big number of channels could be purchased for just 1 EUR. Then there was adopted the law that stipulated 8 years in prison for piracy. And then our paid platform began to work.

Mediasat: And how the courts  passed? Who was recognized a pirate?

Victoria Boklag: There were no courts. The pirates were afraid of criminal liability, and no one wanted to take the risk.”

You can read more about this exciting and useful story at Mediasat.


At the Television as Business conference media managers discussed the results of the past year and the current situation.

Alexander Tkachenko, 1+1 Media: «Last year, we discussed the state prohibitions and how it will affect our market. Now it became clear that nothing terrible has happened.”

Evgeny Lyashchenko, Ukraine Media Group: “Today, own production is our strategy – this is good both for the long term perspective and to earn money. We had to  abandon completely in two years the content that gave a 50 % rating, and it forced us to  restructurize completely. However, the risks and challenges have not gone away, especially financial ones. Now it is important to earn money, but it is not the end, first of all, we should build a normal business.”


Andrew Malchevski, 1+1 Media: “There was a stereotype that the Ukrainian niche of paid TV channels simply can not exist, but now it has turned out that it could be. Import substitution comes to the foreground. I am a supporter of pay-TV,  if we talk about the launch of the new channel, the whales already exist in the advertising market, you need to go into a niche, to another market”.

Most participants agreed that next year we can expect improvements in the market, advertising will grow by 35-40 % according to some predictions.

Claire Harris, the Head of the Commercial Supervisory Board in Nielsen: “The number of digital devices users is rapidly increasing, their preferences have to be measured in a different way. It is difficult, because they quickly turn their attention to other devices or social networks. By the way, Facebook can become today one of the largest digital panels with accurate information about the user. “

Verkhovna Rada has presented a worthy gift on the last day of KievMediaWeek – there was adopted the law “On State Support of cinematography in Ukraine.” This happy note ended the week that was rich, full of information, meetings and important news.


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