Sky to introduce CI Plus before Christmas

For Christmas, Sky Deutschland plans to introduce a CI Plus module for the reception of Sky programming. Sky also said it has reached agreement with Kabel Deutschland, Germany’s largest cable network provider, for Sky’s programming to be accessible via their CI-Plus module.
In the third quarter of 2010, Sky has reported a subscriber growth of 45,000 net additions. Duyring the same period last year, subscriber growth amounted to 67,000, but this high number was due to the one-off-impact from last year’s termination of the arenaSAT and Unitymedia Bundesliga offers. The total number of Sky subscribers reached 2,521,000 at the end of Q3 2010.

Gross additions were 161,000 (Q3 2009: 201,000), with churn of 116,000 (Q3 2009: 135,000). The quarterly annualized churn rate was 18.5% in Q3 2010, down from 22.5% in Q3 2009. The 12-month rolling churn rate went down to 18.9% and is now at the lowest level in five years. ARPU increased to €29.45, up €3.68 year-on-year and is at the highest level in the company’s history.

Sky Deutschland’s HD penetration continues to grow. The addition of 90,000 HD subscribers in Q3 2010 took Sky’s HD penetration rate to 18.2%, almost double that of Q3 2009. On October 27, Sky extended its HD service with the addition of ESPN America HD to take its offering to a total of 12 “true” HD channels

“These results provide encouraging signs that we are taking the right steps to build momentum in the business,” said Brian Sullivan, CEO of Sky Deutschland, in a statement. “Customers are increasingly satisfied with the range and quality that we provide, as reflected in record product uptake and ARPU levels, and our lowest churn rate in five years. In the past quarter we continued our focus on content and innovation, launching Germany’s and Austria’s first 3D channel and extending our market-leading position in HD by adding even more great content. We believe that services such as these add value to customers, differentiate Sky from the competition and draw in new subscribers. We have more planned in the run-up to the key Christmas trading season and expect net subscriber additions well ahead of the third quarter 2010. Overall, I am confident that Sky is establishing itself as the most innovative TV entertainment choice in Germany and Austria.”

During the third quarter 2010, Sky Deutschland increased its total revenues by €34.6 million to €243.2 million (Q3 2009: €208.5 million). Its main component, subscription revenues, went up by 19.1% due to increasing subscriber numbers as well as growing ARPU.