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Discovery Signs 5-year Poland Contract

By | March 13, 2002

      Discovery Networks Europe has secured a five-year deal for direct-to-home (DTH) digital distribution in Poland with Nowa Cyfra Plus, the pay-TV broadcaster that resulted from the merger of Cyfra Plus and Wizja Television.

      The Discovery Channel has been carried on the Nowa Cyfra Plus basic tier service since March 1. Animal Planet will be added on the platform on Oct. 1. Discovery Channel and Animal Planet will both be carried on Nowa Cyfra Plus for a “significant 5-year term,” according to Discovery, with the current subscriber base on the new platform standing at 600,000.

      Separately, Polish TV broadcaster Polsat said it will wind up its services to the Estonian television market and is no longer interested in acquiring the assets of the bankrupt local television station TV1. Lemmi Erin, board member of TV1, is reported as saying that an official letter with views of Polsat’s board was sent to Estonia. He confirmed that he had been told that Polsat had decided to pull out from the Estonian market.

      “Polsat is no longer interested in the purchase of TV1’s assets and no further agreements will be offered to the TV station’s creditors,” Erin said. He remarked that Polsat will retain the ability to build a new TV station in Estonia from scratch.

      Last month, an Estonian court declared the bankruptcy of AS ESTV, the firm owning TV1, and failed to endorse a compromise proposal Polsat had made to the TV station’s creditors. TV1’s biggest creditor is Polsat itself, with a claim of 98 million kroons against TV1. In all, TV1 has debts totalling 125 million kroons (7.99 million euros).

      –Chris Forrester

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