German media company Freenet expects its DVB-T2 platform Freenet TV to reach more than one million paying customers by the end of 2018.
This was announced by CEO Christoph Vilanek at the Freenet Capital Market Day 2017 in Cologne.
Freenet TV launched as part of the deployment of the new generation DTT platform DVB-T2 HD on March 29, 2017 and offers around 20 commercial TV channels including the channels of the two large broadcast groups RTL and ProSiebenSat.1 in Full HD quality for €5.75 per month.
On March 31, around 1.2 to 1.5 million households had migrated to DVB-T2. 160,000 of them already signed up for Freenet TV as paying customers despite the package being free of charge until July 1, according to Vilanek.
On June 30, Freenet expects 1.7 to 2.2 million DVB-T2 households and more than 500,000 Freenet TV customers. The number of DVB-T2 households is expected to rise to more than 2.5 million by December 31, 2017 with the number of Freenet TV customers increasing to more than 800,000. By 31 December, 2018, Freenet expects more than 1 million Freenet TV customers.
The revenues of Freenet TV are expected to amount to €12-16 million in 2017 and to rise to €35-50 million in 2018, according to Vilanek.
Around 3.4 million households currently using DTT are affected by the transition from DVB-T to DVB-T2. Freenet, however, doesn’t just see them as the potential customer base, but also wants to attract viewers to Freenet TV currently using cable or satellite, as Wolfgang Breuer, CEO of Freenet subsidiary Media Broadcast, pointed out at the Capital Market Day.
Freenet wants to mainly use opportunities when viewers have to make up their mind about their TV reception method, for example at the upcoming analogue switch-off on cable or the termination of SD distribution on the Astra satellite system (19.2° East) that could take place in 2021 or 2022. Strong growth potential for Freenet TV is also seen on households’ second or third TV sets and regarding mobile usage on laptops using the Freenet TV USB stick.
Breuer confirmed that discussions are taking place with Sky Deutschland to make the pay-TV broadcaster’s content available on Freenet TV Connect. Through the hybrid service that brings additional linear TV channels, catch up services and apps onto the TV screens via the internet, Freenet TV households would then, for example, be able to watch live football games of the Bundesliga or the UEFA Champions League.
The IPTV platform waipu.tv launched at the end of September 2016 reached around 146,000 registered users on March 31, 2017 including around 23,000 paying customers. By June 30, Freenet expects more than 250,000 registered and over 50,000 paying users. At the end of 2017, waipu.tv is expected to reach more than 500,000 registered and around 100,000 paying users.
Waipu.tv contains more than 50 TV channels in SD and HD quality including a recording function. The basic package is free of charge, the introductory bouquet costs €4.99 per month and the full service €14.99 per month.