The 1st quarter of 2007 saw Premiere in the black with an increased number of subscribers, the German pay-TV company announced today. The upward trend in customer numbers continued throughout the first quarter.
As of March 31, 2007 Premiere reported 3,460,572 subscribers – 50,582 or 1.5% more than at yearend 2006. Overall, Premiere managed to increase customer numbers by more than 86,000 in the last two quarters. Compared with September 30, 2006, which marked a low in subscriber numbers at 3.374 million following the loss of the Bundesliga rights, representing a growth rate of 2.5%. In a year-on-year comparison (March 31) customer numbers are 1.7% lower (3,521,756).
Compared with the 1st quarter 2006, Premiere improved EBITDA by €28.3 million to €37.8 million. After depreciation and amortization (EBIT) Premiere achieved a result of €15.3 million (Q1 2006: negative €12.2 million). On the bottom line too, Premiere was able to post a profit: net income was €4.5 million compared with a loss of €18.3 million in the 1st quarter 2006. Earnings per share increased to €0.05 (negative €0.22).
Premiere generated additional revenue from existing customers three times more than from new customers. CEO Georg Kofler said in a prepared statement: “The marketing of arena is a prime example here: in just four weeks we managed to acquire over 80,000 satellite customers for the arena product, without large-scale classic advertising spending. A broad and stable customer base is the best starting point to successfully market attractive rights like the soccer Bundesliga. It is the key for success in the pay-TV business.”
The new pre-pay offering Premiere Flex enabled Premiere to address new target groups. Since March 2007, Premiere has been offering all seven programming packages for a monthly fee of €20 each, with no contractual obligations. The pay-per-view offering Premiere Direkt has been available for order via Premiere Flex since December 2006. Kofler: “Premiere Flex supplements the classic subscription business and opens up new target groups for Premiere.” The first marketing results of Premiere Flex are positive. At the end of the 1st quarter, already over 72,000 customers are using pre-pay offering.
Premiere expects the launch of Premiere Sky and entavio in the second half of 2007 to unfold new marketing potential. Premiere Sky, Premiere’s first satellite only pay-TV offering, is directed at new customer groups mainly interested in a diverse range of programming. The launch is scheduled for late summer. Premiere Sky will focus on bundling pay-TV channels that do not have a strong satellite marketing partner yet. Premiere offers direct access to 1.7 million satellite subscriber households. The response to Premiere Sky has been very positive: around 50 channels and programming providers have signalled their interest in distributing their programs via the new offering. Premiere estimates that it could be possible to gain around one million customers for Premiere Sky by 2010.