German MTV Rival Moves Into Central Europe

Share this article:
Viva, a German music TV station that is a major rival of MTV, continued its expansion in Central Europe last month with the acquisition of Z+, a U.S.-owned Hungarian music TV station.


Z+ was owned by TBS and HBO and is Hungary's leading music TV outlet. HBO already has a premium movie channel and the Spektrum Channel in Hungary and will continue to provide technical services to Z+.


Last year Viva began moving beyond Germany's borders through a cable window opened in Poland, which it was soon able to expand into full-scale programming with its own studio and video jockeys.


It also bought a stake in a start-up Swiss firm, Swizz Music Television, that in a matter of months took the second slot in the Swiss music TV market. Services will be bundled in Switzerland without a loss of the local station's identity.


In January, the company opened cable access in neighboring Austria, where viewers had made it part of that country's "pop culture," a Viva announcement said.


All four non-German markets are lucrative, with Poland and Hungry the fastest-growing nations in Eastern Europe and first in line to profit from the European Union's eastward expansion in the next couple of years.


TV advertising revenues in Hungary, much of it DRTV although the Hungarians do not break out the differences, have been growing an average of 15 percent to 20 percent a year. Z+ will continue to broadcast in Hungarian.


"The acquisition of Z+ is another step in internationalizing the Viva brand," Viva CEO Dieter Gorny said. "Here, too, we're continuing our recipe for success -- act local, think global. With Poland and Hungary we have now occupied both bridgeheads for our Eastern and southeastern European strategy."


While American companies were quick to enter Eastern Europe after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact, many have now withdrawn from the region, disappointed in slowing growth and political instability. That has left the region pretty much to the Germans.


Share this article:
You must be a registered member of Direct Marketing News to post a comment.

Sign up to our newsletters

Follow us on Twitter @dmnews

Latest Jobs:

More in News

B2B Marketers Can Now Self-Serve Ads on Facebook Exchange

B2B Marketers Can Now Self-Serve Ads on Facebook ...

Sitescout's new integration with FBX opens up access to any size marketer, minus campaign spend minimums, according to the RTB company.

Day Two at DMA2014

Day Two at DMA2014

It was awards day in San Diego, with Teradata's Lisa Arthur being named Marketer of the Year, and Google Japan being feted for its direct mail prowess.

Today's Forecast: Chilly With a 10 Percent Lift in Parka Sales

Today's Forecast: Chilly With a 10 Percent Lift ...

The Weather Company launches a website offering marketers free advice on how to take advantage of shifts in the weather.