In this monthly Eastern Europe Video Spotlight feature, S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a roundup of news related to over-the-top, video-on-demand and other online video initiatives in different Eastern European markets.
* Polish broadcaster TVN SA bolstered its content lineup via a deal with Time Warner Inc.'s Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., Digital TV Europe reported Jan. 26, citing an official statement. The deal includes free TV and basic pay rights to new and catalogue titles from the studio. TVN is a unit of Scripps Networks Interactive Inc.
Content and carriage deals
* Discovery Communications Inc. agreed to sub-license rights for two Olympic Games to Telewizja Polska SA, Broadband TV News reported Jan. 31. The deal allows the Polish public broadcaster to provide multiplatform coverage of the 2018 Winter Olympics and the 2020 Summer Olympics.
* AMC Networks International struck an affiliate deal with Balkan telecom provider United Group to cover the AMC channel across direct-to-home and cable platforms in the Balkans, according to a Jan. 9 news release. Under the deal, AMC has been made available in Serbia via Serbia Broadband, as well as to Total TV users in Serbia, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Slovenia. Telemach Bosnia also added AMC's Minimax network, while various United Group units will also distribute Minimax completely throughout the Balkans. AMC Networks International is a unit of AMC Networks Inc.
* Fight Channel Group launched its linear channel and VOD content in Romania, Broadband TV News reported Jan. 29. The channels are available under OTT platform Streamark's extra basic and SVOD packages.
* Belarusian mobile operator customers will now be able to use Velcom's mobile TV service through a special app, Telecompaper reported Jan. 27. The service allows for each mobile number to connect to up to five devices.
* TVN will broadcast Drone Racing League in Poland through its OTT streaming service player.pl, Digital TV Europe reported Jan. 24. The service will be available under the premium Player Plus pay-monthly offering.
* Scripps Networks, via TVN, launched HGTV in Poland, marking the channel's European debut, Broadband TV News reported Jan. 7. HGTV replaces weather and healthy living-focused TVN Meteo Active, which migrated to an internet-only service known as TVN Meteo.
* Ukrainian OTT provider Digital Screens launched Oll.TV, an app that allows users to stream through Sony Corp. smart TVs, Telecompaper reported Jan. 6.
* Access to video site DailyMotion has been permanently blocked in Russia, Advanced Television reported Jan. 27. A ruling by the Moscow city court said that the Vivendi SA unit has repeatedly hosted shows from JSC Gazprom-Media Holding's Pyatnitsya!, which violates the country's copyright law.
* Ukrainian soccer club FC Shakhtar Donetsk tapped online video services provider StreamAMG to provide support for its new online video platform named FCSD.tv Live, StreamAMG said in a Jan. 20 blog post. The service will offer live and on-demand access to the team's matches, plus extra content such as interviews and press conferences.
* Public broadcaster RTV Slovenia designed an RTV 4D app for TVs compatible with the HbbTV platform, Broadband TV News reported Jan. 16. The app will provide several-day RTV schedules as well as access to its web portal's web archives of radio and TV shows and live streaming.
* Russian operator MegaFon selected Elemental Technologies LLC to provide video processing and delivery solutions for its OTT service MegaFon.TV, Elemental said Jan. 11. Elemental offers transcoding of VOD mezzanine files, compression of streamed content and wrapping of video outputs in both MPEG-DASH with Widevine Technologies Inc. and HLS with Verimatrix Inc. rights management.