Premiere has put its 2008 forecasts in abeyance due to uncertainty over rights to the German Bundesliga. “The bidding process will begin much later than expected and an agency has been commissioned to manage the process. We cannot rule out that this new development could impact potential and existing subscriber behaviour,” said CEO Michael Börnicke. The agency in question is Leo Kirch’s Sirius, hired by the German football authorities, much to the annoyance of Premiere.
Following the restoration of rights for the current football season Premiere now has 642,229 ‘indirect’ Bundesliga subscribers through its partners arena and Unitymedia. The core pay-TV packages have 3.531 million subscribers, an increase of 57,992 on the quarter, bringing the total at September 30, 2007 to 4.173 million subscribers.
Premiere increased third quarter revenues by 8% to €247.5 million and doubled EBITDA to €247.5 million. The German pay-TV platform turned a loss of €32.6 million into a modest profit of €100,000. It will publish an update on its forecast alongside its full 2007 results in February.
Meanwhile Premiere Star, the new basic pay-TV package, has reached 105,000 in a little over a month since its launch. The company has now revised upward its target to 200,000 customers by the end of the year.