Bloomberg News

German Pay-TV Market Share May Jump by One-Third, Adviser Says

October 20, 2011

Oct. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Germany’s pay-television providers will expand their share of the country’s TV market by one-third in the next two years as they offer more attractive programming and technology, an industry consultant said.

High-definition or three-dimensional images, exclusive content such as live sports and easier-to-use devices will help cable and online TV operators account for 20 percent of Germany’s TV market in 2013 compared with 15 percent in 2011, Henning Roeper, head of Solon Management Consulting, said at the Medientage conference in Munich today.

Companies driving the expansion include Sky Deutschland AG, controlled by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.; phone company Deutsche Telekom AG with its Entertain unit; cable companies such as Kabel Deutschland AG; and broadband outlets such as Amazon Inc.’s Lovefilm and Apple Inc.’s iTunes, Roeper said.

“Sky has shown strong growth and cable companies are also increasingly making pay-television products,” Roeper said.

Average annual revenue per user in Germany is 15.50 euros ($21), less than the 50.60-euro average in the U.S., where pay TV’s market penetration is at 88 percent, or 35.30 euros in the U.K. where penetration is 54 percent, according to Solon data.

Sky Deutschland Chief Executive Officer Brian Sullivan, who has reversed customer losses since he took over in April 2010, said at the conference that pay-TV growth will be related to content and service offerings that attract households, rather than viewers becoming more willing to pay for TV.

The company, based in the Munich suburb of Unterfoehring, has been adding high-definition channels to its lineup and will go on the air with Germany and Austria’s first live sports-news channel on Dec. 1 as it seeks to add customers.

Deutsche Telekom, Europe’s biggest phone operator, is selling its Entertain television service to existing customers to drive growth and will make it available next year on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers, said Christian Illek, the Bonn-based company’s head of marketing in Germany.

--Editors: Tom Lavell, David Risser

To contact the reporter on this story: Ragnhild Kjetland in Munich via rkjetland@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kenneth Wong at kwong11@bloomberg.net


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