In recent years, we have observed an influx of students and economic migrants from Ukraine. According to official data, about 900,000 Ukrainian citizens stayed in Poland in 2017*. Unofficial data indicate over 2,000,000. In Ukraine, it is reported that there are almost 3 million of them in Poland. Ukrainians are also the fourth largest of the legally recognized national minorities in Poland. Young and educated people come to our country to work in trade, services, IT sector and even as doctors and nurses. Over 300,000 students from Ukraine gain education at Polish schools and colleges. According to the data of the Personal Service, the average salary of Ukrainians in Poland is PLN 2,500 per hand. According to Business Insider – every fifth company in Poland employs Ukrainians, and 17 percent. plans to look for them in the next 12 months (Barometer of Immigration Immigration – second half of 2018) **.
Beside the work and study, Ukrainians, like all the people, are looking for entertainment. In contrast to Poles, they do not go to pubs, cinemas or theaters. Firstly, most of them, despite growing income, live sparingly and send most of their money to Ukraine. Secondly, language and cultural differences cause that assimilation with Poles is progressing very slowly.
The Internet is the key entertainment and the fastest way to communicate. Due to the roaming costs, the vast majority of Ukrainians use the offers of Polish telecommunications operators. These are both pre-paid and post-paid offers. However, as yet, planned and coordinated sales activities of Polish telecommunications operators are not visible. A few millionth group of potential clients is waiting for good offers.
One of the first who noticed the potential in this group is Idea Ventures, a company dealing in the distribution of TV channels and VOD on the Polish market. Together with Media Group Ukraine, the leading Ukrainian media company, offers to Polish operators four premium channels and the VOD library. TV channel “UKRAINE 1” contain the best Ukrainian TV series, feature films, documentaries, social and information programs. “UKRAINE 2” is the best Ukrainian entertainment – the latest news from the life of celebrities, musicals and culinary talent shows. TV channel “NLO TV 1” is a Ukrainian cabaret and comedy series depicting stories “taken from life” and characterized by sharp humor. “NLO TV 2” is entertainment through educational programs – game shows, scientific and other experiences as well as travels. Most of the most popular programs, series and films are also available in the form of VOD.
The broadcaster of channels is Media Group Ukraine, one of the largest media companies in Ukraine. Beside the four channels distributed on foreign markets, the company broadcasts the largest, in terms of market share, commercial station called “UKRAINA”. It should not be confused with the information UA TV also available in Poland. The most popular series and programs produced by the company reach 10 million viewers. Based on these productions they composed international channel UKRAINA 1,2 and NLO TV 1,2. In addition to television channels, the company is involved in television production, publishes printed magazines and is the owner of the satellite TV operator “X-Tra TV”. In a sense, they can be described as Polsat of the Ukrainian market.
The several million Ukrainian community present in Poland is a powerful niche of the telecommunications and video services market. There is no doubt about it. The first hwo will understand that will benefit from it. The challenge is to prepare a tailor-made telecommunications offer, which can certainly be helped by an attractive TV package with the best TV series, programs and Ukrainian cabarets.
Dominik Tzimas, Małgorzata Kałuska