NEM: CEE’s linear TV is a “really valuable ecosystem”, says SkyShowtime boss

Monty Sarhan

SkyShowtime boss, Monty Sarhan has described linear TV in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) as a “really valuable ecosystem” that can’t be overlooked. 

At the New Europe Market (NEM) in Dubrovnik, Croatia, Sarhan said despite the growth of streaming services in the market, linear TV is still “hugely important” in the CEE region.

“Europe is not a monolith, there is a richness and there is diversity,” he said.

“People sometimes say you launched a streaming service in Europe but actually we something more like seven or eight streaming services, if you think about it, because these markets are so different.”

The CEO explained to best serve each of its 22 markets across the Europe, SkyShowtime must adapt their strategy to each market’s conditions.

“It requires a very sort of bespoke different strategy to tackle the opportunities that exist in each of these markets. These countries are in very different places in terms of their voyage and the streaming future.”

He added, “Satellite and MVPD players are very important partners to us. So we look to partner with them, because that’s where people in those regions are still consuming television and they’re still in that ecosystem.”

SkyShowtime is a joint venture of Comcast and Paramount Global which launched in 2022, Sarhan praised the JV and its expansion into Europe where the companies had little to no operations.

“It’s it’s a great consumer value proposition,” he said. “This is a smart strategy for them to do that and the content portfolio of the two companies is really unrivalled.”

The CEO added, “This was a capital efficient way for them to look at these new markets and say, how do we enter there rather than just going in alone. When people talk about consolidation going on in the industry, well JVs are a form of that consolidation too.

“These are two companies that are in some ways are different, but share a lot in terms of entrepreneurial DNA and that’s why they decided to form the JV.”

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