Germany’s second largest cable operator, Liberty Global’s Unitymedia, has decided to close its DTH satellite platform arenaSAT to fully concentrate on the development of its triple play and next generation TV services via cable, the company has announced.
The arenaSAT business operations and the broadcasting of the arenaSAT pay-TV packages will be terminated on September 30, 2010. All customers will be informed in writing within days.
The arenaSAT customers are allowed to keep their satellite receivers, even if they have a rental model provided by arenaSAT. The receiver continues to be fully functional and usable for watching all free-to-air TV channels available unencrypted via Astra at 19.2 degrees East. This does not require any adjustments by the user.
Ever since the platform lost the rights to the Bundesliga football games, there have been rumours of a possible shut-down of the service. Unitymedia launched the DTH platform in 2006 after acquiring the Bundesliga rights. With the live football gone, only a bouquet of 22 general entertainment and thematic channels remained, resulting in a considerable loss of subscribers. At the end of March its subscribers totaled 51,000, compared with 184,000 the previous year.