Cable television N1, the Balkan affiliate of CNN, was founded in 2014. It is part of United Group, the biggest alternative telecommunications provider in the region which mainly operates in the sphere of telecommunications platforms and the media. Major investments have been made into the visual and content production of news, under the leadership of well-known journalists. N1 television is critically disposed towards the government. Many intellectuals and opposition leaders praise its work, describing it as the only TV channel which reports on the corruptive practices of the ruling elites, something that other television stations do not dare to do. Prior to the launch of the website and television channel, talks were held between the Serbian government on the one hand and the former director of the CIA (now the director of the KKR Global Institute) David Petraeus and former US Ambassador to Serbia, Cameron Munter.
Research by the Media Observatory for Southeast Europe from December 2014 showed that the launch of this television was lobbied at the European Commission in Brussels for by KKR and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). Namely, the same research showed that individuals working in the European Commission changed the Serbian versions of the draft media laws, after lobbying of KKR and the EBRD, in order to enable the launch of N1 television – they allowed the distributors of content to become its producers at the same time. Separation of distribution and content was something which the European Commission itself had pushed for in the past in the case of Serbia and other countries with fragile media systems.
In March 2019, KKR sold the majority stake in United Group to leading international investment company BC Partners. As part of the transaction, KKR kept a minority stake, although its exact size is not known to the public. TV N1 is today the eighth most watched television station in the country with a viewership share of 0.55% according to the research of Nielsen in the period 1st January 2018 to 31st December 2018.
Media Companies / Groups
BC Partners and KKR own N1 TV through United Group B.V. in the Netherlands, which owns United Group RS in Belgrade which is a direct owner of N1.
Affiliated Interests Founder
Founded in 2007, United Group is the largest alternative telecom provider in the region that operates in two main business segments: telecommunication platforms and media (content and advertising). It is providing television, Internet, fixed and mobile telephony to a large number of households and offices in the region through its cable, DTH and OTT platforms. The group companies also offer data and voice services, as well as certified managed services to small, medium and large companies. In 2013, the group started its worldwide OTT platform, NetTV Plus, through which it provides PayTV and fixed telephony services to the former Yugoslav diaspora. Following the launch of N1, the Group also bought majority share in Grand production (turbo-folk production house).
Affiliated Interests Ceo
Brent Sadler is the award-winning, internationally recognised journalist, a former CNN Senior International Correspondent. He joined CNN in 1991 after 10 years as a news reporter for the British network of Independent Television News (ITN). Sadler was ITN's Middle East correspondent for more than four years and also worked for two years as an ITN senior reporter. He then became CNN's bureau chief in Beirut and in Rome. He moved from news in 2009 to take on CNN's feature programming in the region, providing exclusive access for "Inside The Middle East" and "Inside Africa". He is married to a Serbian woman — Jelena Sadler, who is a former News Producer for CNN in the former Yugoslavia and the Middle East and a former Director of Operations for the Beirut Media Centre in Beirut. Jelena is part of the executive team of the N1 television news channel.
Affiliated Interests Editor-In-Chief
Jugoslav Cosic is a renowned Serbian journalist who worked for numerous media outlets (Radio 202, Radio Beograd 2, TV Politika, TV B92, Radio Free Europe) and received numerous awards. He is most famous for launching the first hard talk political show in the country on B92 TV.
Other Important People
Dragan Solak, Cameron Munter and David Petraeus
Affiliated Interests other important people
Dragan Solak founded SBB in 2002. This leading cable operator in Serbia is now part of United Group. He serves as Chairman of the Board of United Group B.V. He served as Managing Director of United Group B.V. Solak serves as the Executive Chairman of Managing Board at Broadband Investment S.à r.l. He continues to be involved in all aspects of the business and is responsible for the overall strategic leadership of the Group.
David Petraeus is Chairman of the KKR Global Institute. This retired U.S. General and former director of the CIA, visited Belgrade twice before the N1 TV launch, meeting all relevant media people in a bigger gathering at the residence of the U.S. Ambassador to Serbia, but also the Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic.
Cameron Munter who was the US Ambassador to Serbia later, from 2007-2009 worked as a consultant for SBB.
Omladinskih brigada 86p
11070 Belgrade, Serbia
Tel: +381 11 400 2000
Revenue (in Mill. $)
469.138.000 RSD / 4,516,275 USD
Operating Profit (in Mill. $)
Advertising (in % of total funding)
Financial reports for N1 are available for Adria Media News d.o.o. for 2017, as the reports for 2018 have not been published yet. The company has no operating profit, but rather losses arising from its regular activities before tax amounting to 23,659,000.00 Serbian Dinars in 2017.