After launching their Internet TV service in Poland in February 2017, Showmax has followed their local strategy by agreeing a deal with the Polish mobile network operator Play to supply the Showmax service to Play’s entire contract customer base, totalling more than eight million subscribers. The transaction will allow Showmax to advance the rollout of Showmax in Poland.
Play, one of Poland’s leading mobile networks and the country’s fastest-growing operator, has total a customer base of 14 million subscribers and a market share of 26%. As part of the transaction, Showmax will be included for 12 months at no extra charge to the majority of Play’s postpaid customer base, with the remainder getting one month’s access to Showmax.
Showmax CEO John Kotsaftis speaking on the deal said that, “The level of interest in Showmax since our launch in Poland earlier this year has exceeded even our most optimistic estimates. The Play transaction is a big deal for us because it gives us instant access to millions of customers and I’m hoping will help us build on the great start we’ve already had in the country.”
Showmax launched in Poland with a specialised local offering that included short films directed by leading Polish directors Patryk Vega and Wojciech Smarzowski. Showmax had also secured the rights to the popular political satire series Ucho Prezesa (The Chairman’s Ear).
Showmax’s operations in Poland are based in Warsaw and headed up by former Google executive Maciej Sojka. Prior to joining Showmax, Sojka ran YouTube partnerships for Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He also set up the well-known 24-hour news channel TVN24 before moving on to the role of CEO of satellite pay-TV platform owned by ITI Neovision.
Showmax Poland’s executive team also includes Grzegorz Esz as Head of Marketing (ex-UPC Polska and T-Mobile) and Jerzy Dzięgielewski as Head of Content (ex-HBO Central Europe).
Speaking about how the Play deal fits in with Showmax’s hyperlocalisation strategy, Kotsaftis said, “Our strategy runs deeper than light-touch localisation. We’ve built our business in Poland around the premise that success requires having boots on the ground, having a deep understanding of customer needs, and having a willingness to make more than cosmetic changes to meet those needs. We’ve made good progress by partnering with incredibly talented local producers and directors, and it’s great to now expand that partnership approach and work with one of the leading mobile networks. ”