15-06-2008

Advertising fuels Bulgarian media growth

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Never mind the relatively high number of TV channels in Bulgaria (195): two more are to start regular broadcasts. The first is the satellite channel of Nova TV, Nova+, aiming international audience with Bulgarian versions of Big Brother. The second is the children's channel JimJam, offering programs of animated, musical and fantasy films. Along with 197 TV channels, the number of radio stations will soon be over 300.

Audiences expressed their disappointment with Bulgarian National Television not acquiring the UEFA European Football Championship transmission rights. Diema cable announced the payment of €2 million for the same rights. Thanks to massive sales of "golden packages" (68 broadcasts of 30 second clips for €150,000) the amount was recouped in advance, according to the management.

The financial weekly "Kapital" reported that in 2007 €283 million went to the ten biggest Bulgarian TV channels. Almost 90% of that was divided among BTV, Nova and BNTV (all three with national coverage). The seven remaining cable channels received €34 million. Additional statistics show that over 70% of the 2.5 million Bulgarian families pay for cable TV. The cost of a 30 second advertising spot in primetime reached the amount of €4500 on BTV. Both Nova TV and BNTV are selling 30 second spots for €3800. For the moment, three channels are competing for 4th place: Fox Life, Diema and TV7.

Increases in advertising revenues were also recorded by print press (€52 million), radio stations (€19 million) and the IT network (€7 million). It is expected that by the end of 2008 IT advertising income will surpass €9 million with the growth of IT users. While in 2007 internet users numbered only 1.3 million people, by the end of the first quarter of this year they exceeded 2.5 million. Thus businesses are turning their attention to of the over 120 Bulgarian sites now operating primarily on Nilson Online and AdOcean.