Published: 10.59 Europe/London, May 17, 2011

With over 1.3 million subscribers, Deutsche Telekomís service Entertain is the clear leader in the German IPTV market. 02/Hansenetís Alice Home TV lags far behind with just 79,000 connected homes. Vodafone has yet to publish its first figures for its recently launched IPTV service.

Last Friday, May 13, O2 reported the number of DSL customers had reached 2,591,000 at the end of the first quarter, up 31,000 from the previous quarter. Of these, just 3% also take the IPTV service Alice Home TV. That translates in around 79,000 TV homes, up 2,000 from December 31, 2010. The IPTV service is available in 150 German cities, or a potential reach of 10 million homes.

Vodafone Germany released its Q1 2011 figures today, Tuesday, May 17, but failed to give specific number of its recently launched hybrid IPTV/DTH service Vodafone TV. The operator has 3.5 million DSL customers in the country.

Deutsche Telekomís Entertain IPTV package added another 100,000 subscribers in the first quarter, as the number of subscribers currently stands at 1.3 million. The operator is now betting on its interactive services including a wide range of on-demand programming and an increase in HD channels.

The operator has added another three HD channels to its line-up. Following a carriage agreement with MTV Networks, Entertain now offers MTV HD, Viva HD, Comedy Central HD and Nickelodeon HD (the latter two in channel sharing). In order to make access to HD channels possible for households outside of the reach of its VDSL service, Telekom also launched its hybrid Entertain Sat service, giving customer access to both FTA HD channels as well as to the encrypted HD+ platform.

On-demand programming is an important USP for Entertain and the offer ranges from the freely available catch-up programmes from ARD and ZDF in their respective Mediatheken to premium content in Deutsche Telekomís VOD portal Videoload.

In order to make access to the IPTV service easier, Deutsche Telekom is now offering a ďpureĒ Entertain TV service without Internet connection. Entertain Pur costs EUR 27.95 per month and comprises a telephone and TV connection.

Compared with cable, IPTV in Germany is still very small. The total number of cabled homes stands now at around 18 million with heavyweights Kabel Deutschland (8.9 million homes), Unitymedia (4.5 million), Kabel BW (2.4 million), TeleColumbus (2.3 million) and Primacom (around 1 million).