Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
Croatian Radio-Television – HRT says they offered the biggest sum for broadcasting rights ever, but it was still not enough. Namely, United Media Group broke the ceiling for broadcasting a sporting event in Croatia and took the broadcasting rights for the League of Nations, qualifiers and the finals of the Euro 2020 Football Championship. The channel on which Croats will watch these sporting events is thus Sportklub, which is not Croatian but regional TV channel, with a Belgrade headquarters.
This channel also bought broadcasting rights for Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Montenegro and Macedonia. Through a variety of operators and cable bidders, the Sportklub is near the 60 percent reach of viewers across Croatia, which is one of the legal conditions to take on such biddings. Its bidding capacity however is far greater than that of the HRT or any public broadcaster in the region, and UEFA cares only about the money, which is the decisive criterion in such deals.
A player too rich
United Media Group is a company in which the key man for this part of Europe is Serbian Dragan Šolak, owner of the SBB or Serbia Broadband, who bought a number of other companies from Macedonia to Slovenia and founded UMG, in which he subsequently sold the majority stock package to the US investment fund KKR (Kohlberg Kravis Roberts) – a fund “heavy” $150bn with headquarters in New York and on the Cayman Islands.
Šolak remained a smaller shareholder and executive director, and according to media reports he sold the shares to KKR for one billion euros. They are now the largest pay platform in the former Yugoslavia, and own N1 TV, Sportklub, POP TV, Kanal A and other cable channels in the region, and much has been written about the moves to acquire Nova TV in Croatia, but this was halted by the decision of the Agency for Electronic Media, with the explanation that it would creat “unacceptable concentration”.