MTG: VIASAT TO SELL PAY-TV PACKAGES ON LARGEST BROADBAND NETWORK IN ESTONIA
Modern Times Group MTG AB (publ.) (‘MTG’ or ‘the Group’), the international entertainment broadcasting group, today announced that Viasat Broadcasting has signed a four year agreement with Elion, which is the largest broadband and IPTV services provider in Estonia. The agreement will enable Viasat to market and sell its pay-TV channel packages to Elion’s 175,000 broadband customers, 88,000 of which have IPTV, from the end of October 2009. Viasat’s Estonian free-TV channels (TV3, TV6 and 3+) will also be immediately available to Elion subscribers through the platform’s existing IPTV packages, which will boost the penetration of the TV6 and 3+ channels significantly. Viasat also operates the largest DTH satellite platform in the Baltic states. The new agreement follows a similar agreement with Telia in Sweden in May 2008, and builds on previous IPTV agreements with ten broadband network operators in Sweden, Norway and Denmark.
The agreement will enable Elion’s ‘digiTV’ customers to access Viasat’s three free-TV channels immediately. The three channels had a combined commercial share of viewing of 39.7% in Q2 2009. Viasat will also market its pay-TV packages direct to Elion’s customers, with prices ranging from EEK 99 per month to EEK 305 per month. Viasat’s premium offering on Elion’s IPTV network will comprise the Viasat Gold package of 12 Viasat channels and 25 third party channels. Elion is the only IPTV and largest broadband provider in Estonia, with a 54% share of the total number of broadband subscribers and 100% of the IPTV subscribers in Estonia. Elion is a wholly owned subsidiary of AS Estii Telekom, which is the largest telecommunications provider in Estonia and is majority owned by TeliaSonera through holding company Baltic Tele AB. Hans-Holger Albrecht, President & CEO of MTG, commented: “This agreement with Elion is the latest step in the roll-out of our ‘anytime anywhere’ strategy, whereby we seek to make our free-TV channels as broadly available as possible, and to attract subscribers to our pay-TV content on multiple distribution platforms. Elion is the number one Estonian broadband and IPTV operator and this deal highlights the demand for our portfolio of high-rating free-TV channels and popular premium pay-TV content. IPTV distribution is complementary to our own DTH satellite platform because it targets new homes that we have not been able to reach before. We are therefore addressing new homes and will benefit from higher penetration levels moving forward.” ***