Telekom grows with IPTV / Bundesliga to return?
Jörn Krieger ©RapidTVNews | 10-05-2012
Germany's national telco Deutsche Telekom has recorded growing demand for its IPTV platform Entertain in Q1 2012: The offering had more than 1.7 million customers on 31 March 2012 – an increase by 37.2% compared with 12 months ago.
Out of the 173,000 new customers in Q1 2012 – 71% more than between January and March 2011 – 81,000 used the satellite version of Entertain on Astra (19.2° East).
Following the loss to the football Bundesliga rights to competitor Sky Deutschland, it remains to be seen how Entertain will develop. One aspect is certain: Telekom's own Bundesliga package "LIGA total!" will cease to exist from the 2013/14 season.
Sky has already indicated that it would be open for a distribution and sales collaboration, but not for a sub-licensing deal of Bundesliga rights. Telekom would therefore be able to distribute Sky's Bundesliga package on its IPTV platform in unchanged form, but could not provide a tailor-made exclusive Bundesliga offering to its subscribers under its own brand like it has been the case with "LIGA total!".
Sky's interest is probably focused on achieving carriage for further packages on Entertain in addition to the Bundesliga in order to win new subscribers. As around 10% of Entertain's customers have signed up for "LIGA total!", Telekom would certainly be keen on continuing to have Bundesliga live coverage on its platform.
Whether an agreement will be reached will probably mainly depend on the financial conditions in the end: Telekom needs the Bundesliga for strategic reasons while Sky will mainly be interested in reaching a financially lucrative deal with Telekom in order to refinance the expensive rights costs.