ANGA Cable 2010 – Cologne. Sky Deutschland is to bring in a number of new services to its subscribers, including Multiroom and the availability of a dedicated iPad application. It follows today’s launch of the 320 GB Sky+ PVR that will be available to lease from mid-May. The pay-TV operator has also stuck a deal with NetCologne, which chief executive Brian Sullivan said he hoped would be the first of many.
The iPad application was created locally within five weeks and will be launched to coincide with the launch of the iPad in Germany at the end of May. “It will start with sports content, but there’s no reason why it can’t extend to everything Sky has to offer, both on a linear basis and in on demand. Most importantly for our customers with have the rights to do that, which means we can provide the services to them on either a low incremental cost, or in some cases no cost,” he said. “The company has been focused on so many other things around survival that it hasn’t had a chance to think about things like innovation.” A separate mobile TV service and iPhone apps, both to book recordings on the PVR and to find a Sky Bar, are also on the roadmap.
Many of the other innovations will be familiar to Sky’s UK audience, such as Multiroom, which will provide a second set-top box for an additional €12 monthly fee. Bundesliga subscribers will need to pay €24 if they want to also extend their football viewing to another room. 86% of Sky Deutschland households consist of more than two people, against the national average of 61%.
Additional HD content will launch in August through Sky Sport HD2, Sky Cinema Hits HD and Sky Action HD. Sullivan emphasized the importance of True HD content as opposed to the upconverted content he said could be found on some broadcasters.
The agreement with NetCologne sees Sky form a part of a new triple play offer by the cablenet, to which both Sky and NetCologne are contributing. Although Sky will continue to hold the relationship with the customer, the billing will come from the cablenet. Pricing will be on a par with subscriptions paid on the satellite service.
Sullivan said he had been in conversation with all of the larger operators, and he anticipated further announcements. However, there was no sign of an early return to Deutsche Telekom’s IPTV platform.