BUSINESS

New landscape for pay TV in Greece

Advent of Disney Plus and HBO Max, and the Nova-Wind merger lead to market shake-up

New landscape for pay TV in Greece

The biggest restructuring in recent years in pay television in Greece is expected in 2022. Households will find is hard to choose from a multitude of options available that won’t just increase competition but also benefit consumers.

On Wednesday Disney Plus, the streaming service of The Walt Disney Company, announced the launch of its operation this summer in Greece, one of the 42 countries and territories where it will establish a presence.

In the meantime, the merger of Nova with Wind Hellas is projected to create a new landscape in the content the two service providers currently offer. Over the next few months Greece will also see the launch of HBO Max, the pay TV platform that American giant Warner Media (of the AT&T group) controls.

Disney Plus will offer exclusive, original content for children (from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic etc) as well as general entertainment. Globally, Disney Plus, which launched in November 2019, has 118.1 million subscribers and is the third biggest option for audiovisual content in the world after Netflix and Amazon.

Meanwhile, Vodafone Greece is in negotiations with Warner Media for the inclusion of HBO Max in its Vodafone TV platform, so as to strengthen its position in the domestic market; however, HBO Max will likely be available as an autonomous service too.

In the coming months the landscape will be further altered with the inclusion of Wind Hellas in the Nova fold, under owner United Group. It remains to be seen how satellite platform Nova, which also operates its cable platform EON, will incorporate the Wind Vision service that currently has some 80,000 subscribers.

Overall the domestic pay TV market has 1.1 million subscribers, according to Hellenic Commission for Telecommunications and Post (EETT) data, not including users of foreign platforms such as Netflix and Amazon. Cosmote TV is the market leader with 578,800 subscribers, Nova has 463,500 and Vodafone numbers 150,000.