There have been many false dawns, but could Sky Deutschland finally have cracked German pay-TV with significant revenue growth and premium HD subscribers topping 1 million.
The satcaster has reported revenues up 18% at €318 million, subscribers grew by 73,000 to 3,085,000, while churn decreased to 11.3%. EBITDA improved by 26% to negative €41m, including €11m phasing impact from brought-forward football match days.
Key to the growth has been the development of services sometimes seen as essential in other markets. These have been coupled with new innovations such as the multiscreen service Sky Go.
“These are once again excellent results for Sky Deutschland, and come at an exciting time for the company. Germany and Austria are amongst the highest potential markets for pay-TV across Europe, and the acceleration of demand across our full product range, as well as outstanding customer satisfaction and recommendation levels, underline the strong momentum in the business,” said Brian Sullivan, CEO, Sky Deutschland.
Sullivan added that the combination of Bundesliga rights, renewals with the Hollywood studios and the forthcoming launch of Sky Atlantic HD gave Sky a unique long-term perspective.
The total number of Sky Premium HD customers grew by 61% to 1,071,000 (Q1 2011: 664,000), meaning more than one in three of all Sky households now subscribe to the Sky Premium HD service. There are now 55 high definition channels available to Sky customers over satellite. Sky Atlantic launches on May 23 and TNT Serie HD will follow in June.
Growth of PVR Sky+ in Q1 2012 at 97,000 was double that of the equivalent quarter in 2011. The total number of Sky+ customers now stands at 508,000.
Sky Go, which exceeded 6 million user sessions during the first quarter will shortly be updated to include more interactive and social media aspects.