Outgoing Sky Deutschland CEO Mark Williams says that six months after its relaunch, the foundations for a viable business have been laid. His comments came as the German pay-TV platform reported increases in subscriber numbers and ARPU.
In the period to December 31, 2009, Sky Deutschland recorded revenues of €230.2 million compared to €236.1 million in the final quarter of 2008, the result of lower advertising income. Churn was trimmed by 1.7 percentage points to 21.6%, giving the satcaster 39,000 net subscribers from its 167,000 gross additions. ARPU increased further to €27.45 from €23.86 in Q4 2008.
For 2009 as a whole Sky Deutschland recorded a negative EBITDA of €262.7 million compared to a negative €57 million in 2008.
“We are pleased with customers’ reaction to our new packaging and pricing structure. The work that we embarked on to overhaul the operations of the business is now almost complete and we have laid the foundation for a viable business,” said Williams. “Our strategy is to accelerate subscriber growth, to continue steadily growing ARPU and to achieve sustained profitability. To this end, the proceeds of the capital raising on 21 January 2010 will be invested in additional sales and marketing activities, programming and new channels and an accelerated roll-out of Sky’s comprehensive HD service.”
The apparent transformation of the company was evident in the brand awareness, which exceeded 70% at the end of 2009. Audiences to the Bundesliga have increased by 77% over the first 23 match days when compared to last season.