Chellomedia, the content division of Liberty Global, has acquired Central European documentary channel Spektrum from HBO Central Europe, in a deal understood to be worth €60 million ($85.3 million).
Spektrum will be the eighth channel in the Chello Central Europe portfolio and Chellomedia’s fifth deal in the region in the last 15 months, including the consolidation of Minimax and the acquisitions of Filmmúzeum, TV Paprika and TV Deko. Chellomedia president Shane O’Neill said his company anticipates considerable growth in multichannel pay-TV in Central and Eastern Europe. “We are seeking to expand our position in the fast growing emerging markets of Central Europe and to develop our portfolio of channel genres, and Spektrum meets both these acquisition criteria,” said O’Neill.
“We have been keen to build our presence in the increasingly popular documentary arena and expect to achieve a number of synergies and growth opportunities as we bring Spektrum into our Central Europe operations - it’s a highly complementary acquisition for us.”
Spektrum is carried on multiple television platforms in Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia - three of the top five most affluent countries in Central and Eastern Europe as measured by per capita GDP. Since its launch in 1995, the channel’s distribution has increased to 3.6 million Central European homes.
Its programming is sourced from more than 200 international providers, including BBC Worldwide, Channel 4, Fremantle and TVF, with an increasing percentage being domestically produced in its home markets. Spektrum airs nature, history, science and technology, lifestyle, travel and military programming, with recent UK channel content having included Jamie’s School Dinners, Lonely Planet and The Earth From Above.
Linda Jensen, CEO of HBO Central Europe, said: “We are pleased to see Spektrum go to a good set of hands in the region. Chellomedia has a long presence in all of Spektrum’s markets and we are sure that the Spektrum brand will continue to thrive with them. HBO Central Europe will continue to focus on its movie and entertainment business in the region, in particular our digital and new media initiatives.” HBO Central Europe is a joint venture owned by HBO, The Walt Disney Company and Sony Pictures Television International/Columbia Tri-Star. (C21Media, UK)