Finding Waldo In Central and Eastern Europe Is A Puzzle.

AuthorSerafini, Dom

The goal is to find out how many TV channels from CEE countries could be distributed in the U.S., where foreign-born citizens now represent 13 percent of the population, or 40 million people. This is in addition to 88 million permanent residents and 15 million temporary legal residents. Of these, 14 percent, or 20 million people, are of European origin.

But first, it is important to figure out what exactly constitutes Central and Eastern Europe. NATPE Budapest organizers would not touch the topic, but looking at a map, one could indicate (in alphabetical order): Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia.

Not so, according to The Economist, which recently ran a piece saying that, in the post-Communistworld, Eastern Europe has moved even further east and now includes Lithuania, Belarus, and Ukraine.

Others refer to Belarus as a Russia-dominated Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) group, while Ukraine is supposed to be a CIS associate. But considering its conflict with Russia, it's probably safe to include Ukraine among the CEE countries.

Patrick Zuchowicki of Basic Lead, who created and organized the Budapest TV market before selling it to NATPE in 2011, said that to define CEE it's best to use a list from Europe's Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development which includes Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia, and the three Baltic States: Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.

Then, there is a more complex CEE definition given by Wikipedia, which includes definitions from the World Factbook (from the CIA) and Eurovoc (an E.U. publication used by many U.S. studios). Indeed, each studio looks at CEE a little differently with regards to territories.

In any case, one could easily say that a universe of at least 13 CEE countries could make some 150 TV channels available for international distribution. Naturally, some of those are already available in the U.S.--specifically, those from Poland, Hungary, Ukraine, and Romania. According to 2016 U.S. Census statistics, there are 425,000 foreign-born Polish residents in the U.S., followed by 348,000 Ukrainians, 161,000 Romanians, and 62,000 foreign-born Hungarians.

Christian Morsanutto, SVP of Business Development and Operations for Toronto-based TV channel aggregator ECG, reported that, in regard to channels from the CEE territory, the most prevalent are the Polish channels that will number in excess...

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