Sky Deutschland not expecting subs downturn

Jörn Krieger

German pay-TV operator Sky, which replaced Premiere on July 4, is not expecting a high number of subscription cancellations provoked by its new package and pricing structure, CEO Mark Williams told news agency Dow Jones Newswires.

The new model means that soccer fans will have to dig significantly deeper into their pockets than previously. While the soccer Bundesliga package was available through Premiere as a stand-alone product for €19.99 per month, it will now cost €32.90 per month as basic package Sky Welt must be additionally subscribed to. Former Premiere customers can decide if they want to change to the Sky structure, which applies to new customers from the outset, or continue to receive their Premiere packages at the former prices.

Williams affirmed that Sky should record a net profit from 2011. The second quarter of the current business year has been running according to internal plans, he stated. According to Williams’ estimations, the number of direct subscribers should be almost unchanged in the second quarter in comparison with those of the first.

Sky Deutschland currently has 2.37 million subscribers, with 3 - 3.5 million targeted by the end of 2010.

Meanwhile, the pay-TV broadcaster’s shareholders have approved with a strong majority of 99.8% the name change of operating company Premiere AG into Sky Deutschland AG. Since July 4 the programme packages have already been offered using the Sky brand, but the parent company continued to use the old name as shareholder approval was required for the name change.

At the company’s annual general meeting on July 10 in Munich the shareholders also elected the candidates proposed by the supervisory board onto the board until 2013. The board will now comprise the following members: Markus Tellenbach (Convers Media Services), former ProSiebenSat.1 CEO Guillaume de Posch, now consultant for Greek Antenna Group, Stefan Jentzsch (Perella Weinberg Partners), Thomas Mockridge (Sky Italia), Mark Kaner (20th Century Fox Television) and Steven Silvester Tomsic (News Corp).