Sky D grows, but drops into the red

May 7, 2014 08.21 Europe/London By Jörn Krieger

Sky DeutschlandGerman pay-TV broadcaster Sky Deutschland increased its subscriber figures in Q1 2014, but higher costs led to a negative EBITDA and deeper loss.

The customer number grew in Q1 2014 by 64,000 to 3.73 million – a stronger increase than in Q1 2013 when 42,000 new subscribers were added. The number of Sky Premium HD customers rose by 80,000 to 2.11 million, thus, more than half of the Sky customers (56%) have now opted for the Sky HD proposition (Q1 2013: 49%). Following the latest additions TNT Glitz HD, Disney Junior HD and Spiegel Geschichte HD, Sky HD now contains 88 channels.

The customer number of digital video recorder Sky+ climbed by 96,000 to 1.58 million (Q1 2013: 1.07 million). 42% of Sky customers now have the device (Q1 2013: 31%). 443,000 customers (Q1 2013: 375,000) use a second smartcard enabling them to watch the Sky channels in several rooms at the same time.

Sky Deutschland increased its turnover in Q1 2014 by 16% to €421 million. The operative result (EBITDA), however, dropped into the red with a loss of €8.6 million while in Q1 2013 a positive EBITDA of €5.8 million was reported. The net loss rose from €38 million to €53 million. The reasons for the increased expenses are the expanded Bundesliga rights and the costs for an additional Bundesliga match day which was brought forward to Q1 2014 due to the upcoming FIFA World Cup, according to the broadcaster.

This year, Sky Deutschland wants to win a total of 400,000 to 450,000 new subscribers and achieve a positive EBITDA between €70 million and €90 million. The broadcaster, however, still does not give any information on the crucial question as to when it expects to reach black figures below the line.