Premiere has suspended marketing of the Arena digital package until May 31 after Germany’s Federal Cartel Office announced a period of consultation, raising fears that the authorities may force the agreement between the two pay-TV platforms to be dismantled. Media concentration remains a key area of concern within Germany as demonstrated by the opposition to Astra’s plans to establish a DTH pay platform.
The Arena satellite package, including the key live coverage of Bundesliga soccer, will continue to be available by satellite, and Premiere homes with a Bundesliga subscription also remain unaffected. Premiere will also continue to market the Arena package over the Kabel Deutschland network while Arena’s parent company Unity Media will market Premiere in the ish and isey cable areas.
The Bundesliga see-saw between Premiere and Arena had been put on an even footing after the February announcement by Unity Media, Arena and Premiere. The companies have all promised to co-operate with the investigation.