Sony Pictures Television has sold its entire network portfolio in Central and Eastern Europe to Antenna Group, including 22 pay-TV channels and two OTT services in 12 territories.
Netherlands-headquartered media giant Antenna with operations in North America, Europe and Australia, confirmed the acquisitions of the Central and Eastern European Sony Picture Television channels, including AXN, Sony and Viasat pay-TV channels and on-demand services as part of a major investment in the region, revealed Variety. The channel portfolio has 90% Pay TV market penetration, reaching 24 million subscribers in Poland, Hungary, Czechia, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, Bosnia Herzegovina, North Macedonia and Montenegro.
The 22 channels include a mix of original productions and international programming from US studios, including Sony Pictures Entertainment, CBS, Warner Bros, NBCUniversal, Disney and eOne. Antenna Group now reaches more than 150 million across its footprint, wants to enhance the channels with more news and entertainment and inject original, local programming. It will further invest in production companies across the region as well as other TV channels and OTT services.
Theodore Kyriakou, chairman of Antenna Group, said: ‘As we continue to invest in media opportunities globally, the CEE region remains an important focus for us. We have invested in this region for more than 20 years aiming to provide the best entertainment and news content locally. This acquisition is yet another step in this direction whilst unlocking further growth in these markets’.
Adam Theiler, CEO of pay-TV Antenna Group, added: ‘I am delighted to welcome the Sony Networks’ team in Warsaw, Budapest and Bucharest to Antenna Group. Together, we will renew our efforts to entertain the legions of fans who trust AXN and Viasat, and by doing so, confirm our place as the preferred content partner of the pay-tv operators and advertisers who share our aspiration to grow the pay-tv market in CEE’.