Hungary has found itself the centre of attention in what is usually a quiet time of year for CEE’s TV industry.
This week we saw Magyar Telekom enter into an agreement to sell its IT subsidiary T-Systems Hungary to 4iG for an undisclosed fee. The general consensus seems to be that the deal will impact significantly on Magyar Telekom’s income – last year T-Systems accounted for around a sixth – but much less so on the telco’s profits.
What is clear, however, is that following the sale Magyar Telekom will be a much-changed company. While it will certainly be weakened in the IT sector, it will find itself in a stronger position in what is an increasingly competitive market. Digi, especially since its acquisition of the alternative telco Invitel, is making significant inroads, and Vodafone, soon to take over Liberty’s UPC Hungary, is poised to become a leading player.
To maintain this position it will nevertheless have to continue investing heavily in network infrastructure and the rollout of Giga and 5G services.
In another important development, we have also seen the national transmission company Antenna Hungária secure the right to operate Hungary’s DTT network for a further 12 years. While the result of the tender organised by the regulator NMHH was never in doubt – it was the only applicant – the challenges now facing the company cannot be underestimated.
The TV industry Antenna Hungária finds itself operating in is vastly different to the one that existed when it secured its first DTT licence.
While it has certainly kept up with the times by launching OTT services, for instance, the Hungarian market is now more competitive than ever.