Voyo's content bonanza heats up streaming wars in Czech and Slovak markets
- The Czech and Slovak streaming service unveils a staggering 711 new episodes and 619 hours of original programming in local content to expand its subscriber base
Czech local streaming service Voyo, owned by TV Nova, has experienced a steady growth in subscribers despite the emergence of competing VOD platforms such as Prima+, Comcast's streaming services, Paramount Global SkyShowtime, and recent acquisitions of local content by Netflix. According to data from the largest commercial television network, by the end of February 2023, Voyo had surpassed 500,000 paying subscribers in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The growth comes on the heels of global streaming wars and asset consolidations (read the news) which left enough leeway on the local markets. Voyo and its leadership are now grabbing the proverbial bull by the horns.
Voyo has announced a gargantuan roster of 46 new original projects spreading over 711 episodes and 619 hours of content, an extreme scaling for local measures. The line-up offers a diverse range of genres, from the first-ever Czech fantasy series to documentary films. Michal Reitler, Head of Development for TV Nova and Voyo, highlighted the significant progress made last year, positioning the networks as the foremost development and production centres in the Czech Republic. Reitler emphasised their sense of responsibility, their partnership approach towards respected creators, their support for young talents, and their courage to explore new avenues.
This year, the streamer opened the season with the Czech response to Netflix’s Sex Education under the title Sex O'Clock, and upcoming projects include the first Czech fantasy series, titled The Oracle (Vědma); set in contemporary Prague, it stars Dagmar Havlová and Jaroslav Dušek, and is directed by rising Slovak talent Jakub Kroner of Miki (read the news). Other projects include a ghost mystery series titled In the House Behind the Forest, produced by Vratislav Šlajer's Bionaut (winner of the Emmy award for #martyisdead; read the news), and a family series titled Dance Lessons (Taneční), directed by experienced filmmaker Jiří Vejdělek (The Last Aristocrat). Two projects will be set in Croatia, a popular summer destination for Czech and Slovak tourists: Dobro došli, a crime series starring Jakub Štáfek (of local box-office hit Vyšehrad: Fylm; read the news) and Slovak actress Alžběta Ferencová, which will be produced by Slovak outfit D.N.A. Production; and Bóra, a comedy crime series set on a Croatian island produced by Film Kolektiv (also behind Restore Point; read the news) about Slovak and Czech participants in a course called “Encounter with Death”.
Additionally, Voyo will offer several series inspired by true stories, including I Love You Forever, Dad, a six-part miniseries about Jaroslav Berger's journey to seek justice for his deceased son, Dominik, who was killed at the age of 18. Miniseries Straka will reconstruct the capture of the so-called Spartakiad Killer, Jiří Straka, a Czech serial killer responsible for 11 attacks on women in Prague between February and May 1985, when he was aged 15 and 16. The slate includes one more true crime miniseries titled Hojer, centred on the Czechoslovak sadistic rapist, serial killer, and cannibal, Jaroslav Hojer. This is a continuation of the programming strategy launched with the series Roubal and Guru (read the news) and more true crime miniseries will be commissioned.
TV Nova and Voyo have also strengthened their team of creative producers by bringing on acclaimed Czech documentarian Erika Hníková, the director of Every Single Minute [+see also:
interview: Erika Hníková
film profile]. The networks will now invest more heavily in documentary projects, such as Because Bear (Lebo Medveď), a series exploring the relationship between humans and bears in Slovakia, to be directed by award-winning Slovak filmmaker Miro Remo (of At Full Throttle [+see also:
interview: Miro Remo
film profile]; read the news); and You Know Me Little, a three-part documentary about the life and career of singer Iveta Bartošová, a companion piece to the three seasons of Iveta, a quasi-biopic miniseries inspired by the singer’s fate. The roster of Voyo's original content should also include film projects in the near future. The streamer’s bet on local content has so far proven to be a sure bet.
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