RealTime IT News

Leading Czech Publisher Buys Into Web

[Prague, CZECH REPUBLIC] Mafra, the publisher of the Czech Republic's leading daily newspaper, MF Dnes, acquired a 34 percent stake in Mobil Media company, owner of one of the one of most influencing national webzines, Mobil.cz, for an undisclosed sum.

Mobil.cz, established in 1996, is Czech leader in the category of technically oriented news servers with some 150,000 page views per month.

The publisher of Mobil.cz, Mobil Media a.s., runs several other less important servers besides this popular site, which focuses mainly on mobile telecommunications and pocket computing. The company closed its 2000 operations with slight profit and sales of CZK 18 million (US$ 0.5 million), which represented year-on-year growth of 96 percent.

Mafra is no newcomer on the Net; it runs the iDnes site, which was originally the Web version of the daily but has grown to include extremely additional features including general news and commentaries to chats and e-commerce.

Both iDnes news site and its WAP version for mobile phones has been voted by the panel of Czech media experts as the best sites of 2000 in their respective categories.

More than 80 staff member of Mafra's multimedia segment and 20 employees of Mobil Media soon unite. The combined operations of Mafra and Mobil Media is expected to attract some 15 million page views per month as well as a lion's share of local Internet marketing money.

Sources close to the deal say the target is 25 to 30 percent of the total value of the market, which is forecasted at nearly CZK 150 million (US$ 4,2 million) for 2001.