Unitymedia ends encryption of basic tier

Liberty Global’s Unitymedia KabelBW has said it will end encryption of all free-to-air channels in Northrhine-Westphalia and Hesse from January 2.

The cabler already distributes all public free-to-sir channels unencrypted, as required by German media law, but will now also start distributing the private broadcasters without any form of encryption.

The move means that cable subscribers will now be able to watch over 70 channels in the basic tier, including those from the RTL Group and ProSiebenSat.1 as well as others such as Discovery’s DMax, on all their digital receivers across the home.

The end of the so-called ‘Grundverschlüsselung’ also implies that all freely available HD channels can be received on all suitable receivers in the customer’s home.

All channels available in premium tiers will remain encrypted. This includes all add-on bouquets as well as the Sky D channels.