Poland's top channels see drop in viewers

By Katarzyna Grynienko
    The three biggest Polish broadcasters have noted significant drops in the number of viewers, beginning in early 2009 and continuing into 2010.

    Two public channels -- TVP1 and TVP2 (www.tvp.pl) -- and private channel Polsat (www.polsat.pl) kept their places in the top three most watched by viewers between 16 and 49 years old, but all noted a significant drop in their share of the marekt. The 2009 leader was TVP1 with a 1.9% decrease in the market share, from 23.32 in 2008 to 21.42 in 2009. TVP2 ranked second, but lost 1.51% and finished with a 15.20 market share in 2009 (compared with 16.71% in 2008). Polsat noted the smallest drop of 0.81% and placed third with a 14.79 market share. The next largest Polish private broadcasters, TVN placed fourth, with a drop of 1.07% and a 13.94 market share for 2009, followed by a public chanel TVP INFO with a 4.39 market share.

    The top two stations failed to increase their numbers in January 2010, when their new, heavily advertised program line-ups were launched. TVP1's market share dropped from 23.32% to 21.87%. TVP2 has already lost 0.67% and holds 15.24% of the market, Polsat is the only channel to show a small increase of 0.4% for a 13.53% share of the market.

    The significant decrease since 2008 is explained by the growing popularity of internet, with 17.5 million users in 2009, up 1.5 mln from 2008. The decreasing popularity of big, national stations could also be caused by the growing number of specialized channels, both foreign such as Disney Channel ( 1.03% in 2009) or the Discovery Channel ( 0.76% in 2009) as well as local, often launched as small branches of the big Polish stations like the news channel TVN 24 ( 2.10% in 2009) or the cultural TVP Kultura ( 0.40% in 2009).
    ( all numbers come from www.wirtualnemedia.pl)