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About satellite encoding on KYIV MEDIA WEEK

How ready is the industry for X-Day? How aware are the viewers of the upcoming changes? Are they willing to pay for satellite TV? What are the plans of those who are not ready to pay? How will the audience be redistributed between platforms? These and other issues were addressed by the report of the Executive Director of the “1 + 1 Media” Group, Director of Pay TV and a member of the Management Board of the group, Yaroslav Pakholchuk, presented to him at the conference “Television as Business”, held in the framework of KYIV MEDIA WEEK 2019.

As noted by Yaroslav Pakholchuk, already on August 29, an information campaign was launched in Ukraine, the purpose of which is to convey information about upcoming changes to viewers of television channels. To begin with, the four largest media groups delegated their most famous and recognizable presenters for recording a social video, which emphasizes all the good, valuable, useful, significant and positive that Ukrainian television carries. This video did not yet contain information about the upcoming coding – it was only to remind the viewers of the TV channels included in the media group about what it was watching, as well as about the positive emotions associated with watching your favorite programs.

The mentioned video did not appear on the channels of media groups at the same time – someone joined the campaign earlier, someone later. On some TV channels, according to Yaroslav Pakholchuk, the video began to be released recently. And while some channels only started broadcasting the first informational, fashion-conscious video – the next video already began to appear on the air of others, in which it was already announced about the imminent start of coding. Viewers of open satellite TV channels began to be informed that the possibility of open, free access to TV channels would soon disappear, and if they wanted to continue watching their favorite channels, they would need to change the way they were received.

Yaroslav Pakholchuk noted that 12 national television channels will take part in the information campaign. And the viewer will receive these messages from the screen almost until the end of this year. And starting from the first ten days of November, the authors of the campaign plan to organize what Yaroslav Pakholchuk called “pendulum blackouts”: from time to time, the viewer will see a picture on his TV informing that the channel is “encoded” against the background of the “gray screen”, which, in general, should further motivate him to make a decision regarding the further way of watching.

It is curious that subscribers of cable networks, IPTV networks and other platforms that are not related to the satellite will not see these videos. As noted by Yaroslav Pakholchuk, media groups do not want to create an extra “information noise” for those who will not be affected by these changes, so as not to confuse them and not create unnecessary trouble. Therefore, the groups decided to form “alternative” signals of their main television channels for this period – especially for the headends of the platforms mentioned above.

In parallel, a coding project for the so-called “transport” signal of the Zeonbud company is being implemented. That is, satellite packages through which national television channels from Kiev are distributed to towers and masts in the regions for subsequent broadcasting through the Zeonbud DTT platform. This transport signal is not received by all household tuners, however, the industry was still concerned about the possibility of its reception by individual users. Therefore, it was decided to “close” this signal from prying eyes. And this will be done in October of this year.
According to Yaroslav Pakholchuk, analysts indicate that as a result of the nationwide television channels leading the campaign, 3.9 to 4.5 million households will change the way they receive TV shows. This trend should reach its climax in December-January – that is when operators should count on a massive influx of subscribers.

Yaroslav Pakholchuk recalled that various changes in the Ukrainian television space have occurred repeatedly. TV channels periodically changed frequencies on satellites, or even satellites themselves. The analog signal was turned off. At the same time, experience and analysis of these events shows that the Ukrainian audience, as a rule, is not in a hurry to switch, reconfigure, or equip themselves with equipment, delaying all this literally until the last day. Therefore, it should be remembered that this time the “window of opportunity” will be as short as possible – from November to January, the viewer will have to make a decision. And this information must be conveyed to him as clearly and intelligibly as possible.
And this applies not only to individual subscribers, but also to operators of multi-channel terrestrial networks – cable, IPTV and OTT. Indeed, for the most part they receive the signal necessary for distribution to their subscribers from the same satellites. This means that the technical personnel of these networks need to study in advance new equipment (which media groups will provide them with), its parameters and capabilities.

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