The age of free television in Ukraine is coming to the end. Recently, the operator of the terrestrial digital TV “Zeonbud” has agreed with the company Irdeto about the encoding of the transport satellite signal. The latter, as explained in the press service “1 + 1 media”, is one of the leaders in terms of security of digital platforms and will build a satellite signal coding system in Ukraine.
Media players do not hide the true goals of a high-profile project – they are systematically moving to launch in our country exclusively paid model of consumption of television content. First of all they will be engaged in coding of “technical” signal from the Astra 4A satellite. It is used by cable and other operators to then “give away” to end-user receivers. However, TVs do not think about this.
“This is only the first step in winter to encode the signal of major TV channels. That is, the media groups “Inter”, “Ukraine”, 1 + 1 and StarLight Media did not joke at all when they promised to encode their TV programs from 2020, “- said media expert Oleksandr Glushchenko.
Andriy Malchevskiy, Director of the 1 + 1 Media Broadcasting and Distribution Network, called the encrypted signal the “main tool” for anti-piracy media groups.
“Now the market is undergoing a reincarnation from a cocoon to a butterfly. We believe that coding will open more opportunities for the development of paid TV and for raising the television service in Ukraine to a higher level, ”he is confident.
They will close the holes and raise the price
Media market experts have reminded that talk about television encoding has been in the works for more than a decade. Initially, media groups could not agree on the price, they say, all different channels. Someone has six, some have eight and so on.
To date, software providers – cable or wireless – are paying media content groups almost the same rate. One TV channel of each domestic media group costs 3 UAH. / Month. from the subscriber. And from New 2020 the price will rise to 6 UAH. / Month.
Moreover, market participants agreed on a minimum price of the basic TV package – 49 UAH. / Month. If one of the providers sets the price lower, then it is immediately punished. This is to allow operators to compete in the premium segment, not sell channels for nothing.
Not only satellite, but also the Internet is coded
After the TVs have worked out the encoding of the technical signal, they will be taken public, experts warn. That is the satellite from which user tuners can receive content directly from the “plate”.
And then it will be the turn of the global network – telecast on the Internet will provide DRM (Digital Right Management – digital rights management). Which will not allow you to record or share content with other users.
The essence of this system is quite simple. All providers will be “floated” by a single stream of DRM. Thanks to “watermarks” it will be easy to establish abuse if someone tries to pirate.
They want to earn more
By launching coding, each of the domestic media groups will be able to increase revenue by about $ 1 million a month, said Alexander Glushchenko. Of course, this is not enough to cover all the costs. But such a step is the first and necessary for a full transition to the civilized pay TV market in Ukraine.
All this, however, can make a lot of noise in the market. After all, when a Ukrainian viewer who is used to free television is faced with the need to spend tangible money on “TV” every month, he will have to choose between economy and diversity. Ultimately, this is transforming and segmenting the market: someone with enough head and 32 channels, and someone wants premium packages and HD quality.
When television channels from hostile Russia were banned in Ukraine in 2014, it put domestic media groups at the negotiating table. Two years later, in 2016, they began to raise money to broadcast their channels from TV providers. And at the same time, they started fighting pirates – so slowly the Ukrainian TV market was approaching civilized standards.
In Ukraine, there are about 4 million households connected to free satellite TV. According to Alexander Glushchenko, about half of them will continue to use the still-free signal from space. Another million will switch to digital TV (T2). And only the rest will agree to pay Ukrainian channels a monthly subscription fee for access.
It is not necessary to discount and the market of online platforms is developing rapidly. In the future, experts say, the most progressive satellite subscribers can start migrating to OTT services. The most famous among the domestic ones are Oll.TV, Megogo, Divan.TV.
The latter claim that more than half of their current users (in some cases, up to 70-80%) are watching domestic TV channels. So, they will have to pay for the opportunity to consume the Ukrainian TV content.
About a third of Ukrainian viewers of broadcast TV have not switched to digital
Big Data UA founder and head Sergey Boyko estimates that in Ukraine, about 1 million households use satellite cardsharing. Simply put – piracy, receiving a coded signal illegally. In the case of reliable coding, half of the specified category will switch to paid models – cable TV, satellite TV or IPTV. The rest will remain on the free model.
But in “1 + 1 media” are more optimistic. According to Andrei Malchevsky’s forecasts, after signal coding, the domestic pay TV market will grow substantially at the expense of satellite subscribers.
According to representative media group studies, satellite encoding will attract at least 2 million new users.