German commercial TV group ProSiebenSat.1 has gained carriage for its HD channels on the country's largest cable TV network: Kabel Deutschland will distribute the channels from October 2011.
A long-term contract for carriage of its free-to-air, pay-TV, HD and video-on-demand (VOD) offers was signed with Kabel Deutschland, ProSiebenSat.1 announced in Munich. Details on whether cable customers will be charged additional fees for reception of the HD services will be announced in time for the beginning of the commercialisation.
The agreement, of which no financial details were disclosed, covers cable distribution of the HD versions of free-to-air channels Sat.1, ProSieben, kabel eins and sixx. Also, selected programmes of the channels will be made available on Kabel Deutschland's VOD portal Select Video from late summer.
The contract furthermore comprises long-term cable carriage of pay-TV channels Sat.1 Comedy and kabel eins Classics in subscription package "Kabel Digital Home". Through the agreement, women's channel sixx will gain analogue cable distribution in addition to the existing digital carriage. The channel, which will take over the analogue slot of 9Live, will thereby boost its technical reach from 20 million to more than 25 million households.
The agreement means a change significant change of direction in the German cable market as, according to industry insiders, for the first time a cable company will pay for carriage of TV channels. Until now, it used to be the opposite way. This is also thought to be the case with fellow cable operator Kabel BW which announced yesterday an agreement with RTL group regarding carriage of its HD channels .