NDS sees growth in German pay-TV

Encryption manufacturer NDS sees big potential over the coming years in Germany’s pay-TV market, according to chairman and CEO Abe Peled (pictured, left). The NDS encryption system VideoGuard in currently utilised in Germany by Premiere, cable companies Kabel BW and Tele Columbus, Eutelsat’s direct-to-cable platform KabelKiosk and IPTV operator Arcor.

“Next to India, Germany is the most important growth market for us at the moment,” Peled told newswire service Dow Jones. Peled said that market penetration of pay-TV in Germany is around three times lower than in other European countries. He believes Germany will approach the average market penetration rate of 30 to 40 per cent found in other countries over the coming years.

In response to the expected growth, NDS recently opened a German office in Munich in order to be closer to its customers. Peled expects a growth thrust for digital cable television based on the increasing consolidation of the historically-splintered cable networks. The fragmented ownership and operation has, he believes, acted as a brake on growth for the development of the digital market and also hindered infrastructure competition between cable, satellite and other digital distribution methods.

The recent personnel changes at pay-TV operator Premiere will also have a positive effect on the development of the German pay-TV market, expects Peled. He hopes that under its new leadership the subscription broadcaster will in future be able to spur the development of Germany’s digital pay-TV market in conjunction with cable operators.

NDS is backed by Rupert Murdoch’s international media concern News Corp, which is also the largest single shareholder in Premiere.