Polsat Looks to Triple Play to Expand Business

By | September 13, 2008 | IBC

Cyfrowy Polsat, the largest DTH platform in Poland, hopes to become a major player on the Polish communications/media landscape by becoming “a triple-play or even a quadruple-play operator,” CEO Dominik Libicki said.

Polsat began its life as a traditional satellite pay-TV operator and added mobile telephony services, launched Sept. 8 using a mobile virtual network operator business model. The bundling of mobile phone and pay-TV services is the first part of Polsat’s strategy to provide more services to customers, Libicki said. In theory, Polsat’s next step could be to acquire terrestrial infrastructure in order to become a fully-fledged telecoms operator and compete against incumbent telco TPSA.

While communications services open a new revenue stream for Polsat, satellite pay-TV services also remain key to the operator’s growth, Libicki. The operator already has nearly 2.3 million DTH subscribers, and with pay-TV penetration in the country around 60 percent, the operator still believes there is plenty of room to grow. Libicki estimates there are an additional 2 million households in Poland that can be targets for Polsat’s DTH offering.

Polsat also plans to increase the number of HD channels on the platform and is talking “to major broadcasters” to add to its channel line-up.

While Polsat looks to compete in TPSA’s telephone market, the telco already has entered Polsat’s turf with an  IPTV market. Libicki would not comment directly on a competitor’s strategy, he said that IPTV “was not having much of an impact in Poland.”

With a planned expansion of services and more competition entering the growing Polish market, Polsat needed cash to fund its ambitious plans, and the company’s May initial public offering (IPO) on the Warsaw Stock Exchange has been deemed a success. Despite a global credit crunch, Libicki believes Polsat remains a strong performer, and noted that the company’s shares continue to trade above the IPO price of 12.5 Polish zloty ($5.12).

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