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SPI International moves forward with dual strategy

Filmbox logosSPI International, which this week rebranded its premium FilmBox movie channel for central and eastern Europe to reflect the addition of new content from major US TV and film distributors, is moving forwards with a dual strategy of extending its premium base in central and eastern Europe while expanding the number of territories it distributes to, including Africa and the Middle East.

FilmBox Extra will become FilmBox Premium in Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Romania.The broadcaster said the move would enable it distinguish its flagship premium channel from other FilmBox-branded channels offered in basic, extended basic and premium tiers across the region.

“We have two strategies,” Berk Uziyel, executive director of Filmbox International told DTVE at MIPCOM in Cannes last week. “One is to extend our premium base in central and eastern Europe with a premium product. The second is to extend the territories we are in. We are adding new platforms every month. We are interested in Africa and another area we are looking at is the Middle East.”

In the Middle East, SPI International’s channels are carried on Arabsat and are available on the My-HD pay TV bouquet and on the Etisalat IPTV platform.

Uziyel said premium currently accounts for about 5% of the portfolio’s overall base of 28.5 million.

Uziyel said that SPI International was also looking for increased digital distribution, which he said was accounting for an increasing proportion of revenue. The company currently operates 64 apps om 16 platforms, including Samsung and LG smart TVs, the web, game consoles and iOS and Android devices.

As part of its digital drive, SPI International is also streaming 4K content at 4-6Mbps. Uziyel said the broadcaster is currently airing about 20 4K titles. He said the 4K content would be made available “globally” as part of its subscription video-on-demand service.