MTG: “Many issues to address”

Swedish broadcasting giant Modern Times Group has had an eventful year, not least losing its CEO. Newly appointed CEO Jorgen Madsen, speaking at investment bankers Morgan Stanley’s annual TMT conference, urged investors and the market to look beyond the near-term impact of increased investment being needed in pay-TV in the Nordic region.  Instead, he asked that the opportunities in OTT be recognised as a new method to reach a broader universe of subscribers.

According to the bank’s summary of the event, Madsen saw “a fast changing environment as broadband and new platform penetration expands. MTG is focused on strengthening its content offer in order to better compete with Boxer in Denmark. MTG has faced low cost DTT competition in this market and is responding with a more complete pay TV DTH offer including the acquisition of a new sports channel as well as adding channels to its basic tier. The CEO stressed that MTG has already taken steps to secure the majority of premium sports rights for a number of years. The key movie rights are secured to 2016 and the sports deals until 2015. The CEO acknowledged that third party IPTV customer numbers are not growing as fast as previously but argued that this was largely a function of the telcos efforts rather than a deficiency in the offer.”

As far as MTG’s investments in the Ukraine and Russia were concerned, “MTG sees substantial medium-term opportunities in pay TV both on its wholly owned DTH platforms and as a content distributor on major IPTV and Cable networks. Investments in content in FY 13 will support the double digit revenue growth potential of this business.”

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