ANGA Cable – Cologne. Sky Deutschland CEO Brian Sullivan has described the challenge ahead of him as huge and exciting. The former BSkyB marketing chief said he was going through a learning curve that was akin to university, telling ANGA Cable delegates that he has learnt more in four months than he had in four years.
Amid the now traditional debate over whether commercial channels should ask viewers to pay to receive their content, Sullivan said it was important that Germany had a strong pay-TV industry, not just through Sky Deutschland, but also others that were able to serve customers and provide them with great content free of state subsidies.
“We have a responsibility to make this company a success and as part of that I hope I can bring a higher spirit of potential partnership because if we work together we have a much greater chance of success.”
Sullivan said the new packaging and price structure that had been brought into Sky Deutschland was the first in a long time to be an ongoing business model. “The market here in Germany is very different to other markets, where you see a successful pay-TV operation it starts with more choice, but there’s been choice here for a long time. This has moved us from being choice to being quality and differentiation, that opportunity is in front of us, but it is harder to achieve.
At the centre of Sullivan’s delivery of quality is an expansion of Sky Deutschland’s HD offer, three new channels going live in August, and a promise of further growth. “The simple answer to success is not another 40 channels, and I would be surprised if we were to launch any more SD channels if they didn’t also have a high definition channel attached.”