Liberty plans German ad spend

Liberty Global (LGI) is planning a major marketing campaign in the German market to drive sales for Unitymedia and Kabel BW.

“We’re going to increase the spend on our brand, our advertising and our retail presence,” Liberty Global president Mike Fries said in a conference call following the company’s Q4 results.

LGI is in the process of building the number of retail outlets in Germany from 50 just two years ago to 300. Fries anticipated that Germany would represent a major part of the company’s net ads.

The company confirmed it was in negotiations with Sky Germany and others to increase the number of HD channels; penetration of HD DVRs in Germany is only 20% at present, compared to 50% in many of Liberty’s other markets, and 60% in the Netherlands.

Speaking on the latest rumours regarding a possible purchase by Ziggo, Fries said his expectation was that the Dutch cableco was preparing to go public. “It’s a big market and its once that you should expect us to look at if a transaction like that should become available, but it’s my understanding that they are heading rapidly towards an IPO.”

Horizon is expected to launch late in the second quarter and will be in four markets before the end of the year.