Digital cable TV growing in Germany

Germany’s largest cable networks are receiving growing interest in their digital offerings.

Already more than 4 million cable households use digital television and increasingly also opt for internet and telephony, German cable association Deutscher Kabelverband announced.

The three biggest cable operators, Kabel Deutschland (KDG), Unitymedia and Kabel BW, have already established themselves in several regions as the second largest broadband internet provider after Deutsche Telekom. In the fourth quarter of 2007 alone, more than 60,000 households per month opted for an internet connection through one of the three companies. In the previous quarter this figure was 40,000 households a month. KDG, Unitymedia and Kabel BW were therefore able to increase the number of their internet customers in 2007 by 125% compared with the previous year, to 876,000.

By the end of last year, 695,000 households were telephoning via cable - an increase of 137%. More than a million households switched from analogue to digital cable television in 2007, bringing the year-end figure of cable households using digital free-to-air and pay-TV offers (excluding Premiere) to a total of 2.67 million households - an increase of 65%. When Premiere’s subscribers are added to this figure, around 4 million households use digital television offers via cable networks.

In order to keep the competition between Deutsche Telekom and other ADSL providers on the boil, the three companies plan to invest more than €400 million in the upgrading of their cable networks for triple play services this year. By year’s end more than 23 million households - around two thirds of all German homes - should be able to access internet and telephony through their cable operators.