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The fall television season in Bulgaria got off to a rousing start with the two big national channels premiering new and improved reality shows, talent shows and talk shows. CME (Time Warner) owned bTV presented their best audience grabbers to hold off a serious challenge from Nova TV, owned by Modern Times Group (MTG). This modest Eastern European media market, graced by two big competitive broadcasting groups, is “on the verge of having a nervous breakdown,” headlined capital.bg media watcher Vesislava Antonova (September 26).
The stress, as always, is about ratings. And from ratings comes money. The money, mostly, is distributed by media buyers. Decisions on rates, discounts and the ever-important audience guarantees are determined by ratings. Bulgaria’s TV market is served by two quite separate measurement providers, both with distinct metered household panels and, obviously, results. Locally owned GARB is used by bTV and Nova TV uses Prague-based Mediaresearch, principally owned by Nielsen. In 2011 GARB, a subcontractor for big market research house GfK, bought out the TNS measurement franchise in Bulgaria. Measurement in Bulgaria has been something of a battleground for nearly a decade. (See more about media in Bulgaria here)
“The situation is very unpleasant…and at a most inopportune moment,” said media buyer Desislava Olovanova. The various channels of bTV and TV Nova take 88% of all TV ad spending.
From Last Weeks ftm Tickle File
New radio broadcasting licenses in Cyprus have been put on hold for the next decade. The Ministry of Communications informed the Cyprus Radio Television Authority (CRTA) that there are no FM frequencies available covering the island, though small local licenses might become available.
The current 17 private radio broadcasters in Cyprus have their national licenses “locked in” for “at least a decade,” reported radiofono.gr (September 24) Sometime after 2024, said CRTA Executive Director Andreas Petrides, it’s on to DAB. (See more about media in Cyprus here)
Public broadcaster Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation (CyBC) operates four radio channels available on FM and AM/MW.
Ah, summer!! Those lazy days by now just a memory, yes? The team at French media measurement institute Médiamétrie – some, at least – spent July and August collecting radio audience data. French radio executives can now scratch their heads and try to remember exactly what they were doing during the long lost summer.
Médiamétrie’s summer radio report is distinct from the normal quarterly release, smaller sample and a few special questions. In general, slightly fewer were listening (76.3%) and with a slightly reduced time spent listening compared to summer 2013. But there were more folks not hanging around the home residence listening, 67.4% from 66.5% last summer though time spent listening was considerably less. (See French summer audience trend chart here)
The usual big national channels, as usual, attracted most listeners; RTL on top, France Inter second. Both had lower market shares over the previous summer Regional public network France Bleu increased its share – think local weather and traffic reports – as did NRJ. Indeed, hot and happening music channels Fun Radio and SkyRock bumped up over last summer. Nostalgie did not, down to 3.8% from 4.8% year on year.
Summer 2014 was certainly filled with major news, largely international, that French listeners wanted to avoid, starting with Germany winning the World Cup. There were airline tragedies, the conflict in Ukraine and continued unrest in the Middle East. By the end of summer the French government was turned upside down. And, too, the weather wasn’t all that nice. But classical music channel Radio Classique increased its audience share by more than a third.
Heroic efforts to protect citizens from the scourge of foreign influence continues unabated in the Russian Federation. The State Duma overwhelmingly passed on first reading a measure to limit foreign ownership to 20% shareholding and prevent foreign shareholders from naming executives and editors, reported Vedomosti (September 24). An amendment prepared for second reading later this week would effectively deny distribution to foreign international television channels.
Most foreign media owners in the Russian Federation have fled over the last few years, RTL Group being the most recent. Those remaining include the Financial Times, News Corporation and Finnish publishing group Sanoma, owners of the respected business daily and portal Vedomosti. Also affected would be Swedish broadcaster Modern Times Group (MTG), 38% shareholder in television broadcaster CTC Media, German publishers H Burda and Bauer Media and Swiss publisher Edipresse as well as Russian versions of Eurosport, Disney and Discovery Communications channels and Turner Broadcasting (Time Warner) owned Cartoon Network. (See more on media in Russia here)
Dmitry Gudkov, the sole MP voting against the measure, said it would “ruin” the Russian media business. One of the bills sponsors, MP Vadim Dengin, noted “huge information attacks on the country’s leadership” and events on Russia’s borders. “For me”, he said, “the security of the country is paramount and business is secondary.”
After Russian Federation president Vladimir Putin announced he would, could or might cut Russia from the world wide web, there has been considerable backtracking. That would only happen “in case of emergency,” said a spokesperson, quoted by Vedomosti (September 19). Meanwhile the Russian Defense Ministry opened a Facebook page.
week of September 29, 2014
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The Greek media world has been turned upside down in recent years. Financial constraints coupled with political confusion seem endless while digital media promises a new future. Media in Cyprus, largely tied to Greece, shows certain signs of stress while media in neighboring Macedonia remains under stress. This ftm Knowledge file explores the bright spots and all the rest. Includes updated Resources. 82 pages PDF (June 2014)
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