RTL Croatia, 01/08/2020
In a recent interview with the Croatian daily newspaper Večernji List, Marc Puškarić, CEO of RTL Croatia, talked about the company’s digital strategy, its diversifying portfolio, the TV programming, as well as its Croatian origin.
Asked about his first steps on being appointed CEO of RTL Croatia, Marc Puškarić said: “My first step was to sound out my colleagues, learn from them and understand what they do and how they operate. On taking up a new position it’s crucial not to be hasty and to take stock of the lay of the land and the road travelled so far.” He then went on to say: “I must point out that I have the utmost faith in them, their ability and dynamism. It was also important for me to speak with our customers, associates and officials. For me it’s important that we, as a media company, contribute to society.”
Regarding the acquisition of Net.hr portal, the CEO pointed out: “The acquisition of Net.hr has seen us become Croatia’s second largest digital publisher. This is the launchpad for our next step – customer loyalty. We’re investing in content as well as tools that allow us to personalise content. With the help of artificial intelligence, the possibilities are endless. We’ll provide our audience with an unrivalled user experience and content tailored to their preferences.”
He went on to explain: “We’re investing in content, people and technology. RTL, as a global player, tracks the latest trends and actively interconnects the traditional TV world with the digital. Prime examples are RTL Play, our premium digital video platform, as well as RTL.hr, which is evolving into a digital hub for all TV-related content. The ever-increasing fusion of digital with television presents us with unique opportunities to create far more innovative channels for approaching our customers, offering a mix of the best of both worlds.”
On the subject of diversifying activities and specifically the RTL Music branch, Puškarić said: “RTL Music is a good example of entrepreneurship and creativity developed on the back of an initiative by RTL Croatia colleagues. Among the first major concerts we staged were 2Cellos in Zagreb and Split. This year we brought in The Chemical Brothers for the first time, and there were a lot of Croatian pop artists, traditional concerts and foreign artists. We continue to organise concerts, performances and various other events, and are now entering the second phase of this venture with a collaboration with BMG, which, like RTL Group, belongs to the international media group Bertelsmann. We manage their rights here in Croatia and other areas in the region.”
Speaking about the broadcast rights of the 2020 European Men’s Handball Championship and 2021 World Men’s Handball Championship the CEO commented: “I’m delighted that we’ve secured the rights for these two major championships. Our viewers know that Vrijeme za rukomet (Time For Handball) is on RTL. This programme first aired back in 2009. We’ll be showing more than 50 matches on RTL Televizija, RTL2 and RTL Play, and many more will be available on our digital platforms. The stability and reliability of our brand are extremely important when it comes to sports. Handball rights, an exclusive contract to broadcast [boxer] Filip Hrgović’s fights, special fights for the world’s largest range of weight categories, and KSW [mixed martial arts], are only part of the sports programming that we plan to continue in the future.”
The interview concluded with Puškarić being asked about his Croatian origin: “I have been visiting Croatia every year, almost every summer, because my father is from Croatia. Croatia’s my home now. I moved here with my family and everyone started learning Croatian. We want to stay in Croatia, and are not time-bound by my current role. I think as a company, we need to show younger generations that they don’t have to leave Croatia and that they can play a part in shaping the country’s future. Personally, I’m excited about celebrating the company’s 25th anniversary with my RTL Croatia colleagues.”