Thursday, March 10, 2005

SBS anounces digital strategy: 50% of all income subscriptions and non-traditional

"Announcing a 16.6% rise in SBS revenues for 2004, ceo Markus Tellenbach indicated that as much as 50% of the group's business will come from "subscriptions and non-traditional areas" within five years, outlining a significant shift in strategy, away from airtime sales, to facilitate growth in the digital environment.

Three new digital pay channels are set to launch in Holland by the end of the year, under plans unveiled today by SBS Broadcasting's chairman of the management board Patrick Tillieux.Each with programme budgets of between €3m and €6m, looping programming 24/7, the three channels are called Do It Yourself, I Love and Veronica Vibes. The first will be all about home improvement, the second a retro net airing hits from the 1970s and 1980s, and the third is a youth-skewed information service about nightlife and leisure in Holland.

With a September debut penciled in, Tillieux said he's currently in talks with platforms like cable operator UPC and others. "These channels will be platform neutral," he said, "and all of Holland's platforms are gearing up for digital services in the second half of the year." "

Today it is already clear that September will be one of the hottest months of the year in the Netherlands. Tellenbach foresees revolutionary changes in media consumption in the next five years, announcing these figures. However these are also realistic expectations considering the regions where SBS is active. It is clear SBS is positioning for digital leadership in the Nordic/Benelux and Eastern European (probably later) regions.