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A Closer Look at Pay TV in Germany

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The Sky Deutschland head office in Munich looks like an expensive electronics store. A huge 3D TV set with several pairs of brand new stereo-glasses flashes in the hall. The famous couturier Karl Lagerfeld is featured on one of the billboards representing the Sky Sport application for the iPad, which allows the customers to watch sports matches on their iPads.

Sports broadcasting is the principal direction of Sky Deutschland. The channel broadcasts not only soccer, basketball, hockey games, but tennis, golf and racing. A new studio for commentators and sports analysts is being equipped now.

Sky Deutschland pay channel has also spent ten million euros in recent months to optimize marketing activities. New shows for the younger audience, interviews with celebrities and satirical programs are being prepared now. Together with Karl Lagerfeld, advertising campaigns involve such celebrities as popular actor Moritz Bleibtreu and national team goalkeeper Manuel Neuer. Nevertheless, the provider still goes into the red. Last year the losses accounted for more than a million euros a day.

The largest TV provider in Germany, Deutsche Telekom, on the contrary, with due time felt the necessity to promote actively its online platform. Looking at its main competitor, Sky began promoting actively the satellite receivers with internal hard drives and providing such interactive services as mobile TV setup and downloading video from the network.

Currently, more than a million people subscribe for Sky HD programs to convert video files from one format to another. In addition, one HD TV-tuner brings in another 30 euros.

Since this January, Sky Deutschland has given its subscribers the opportunity to watch Bundesliga matches in 3D format. Moreover, Sky has equipped special sports bars of Berlin, Dusseldorf and some other cities of Germany with 3D TV-sets and great number of stereo glasses. Two years ago, Sky Deutschland booked the live broadcasting of Bundesliga games. The contract is valid for four years and cost nearly a billion euros to the company.

It has to be said that there are other competitors on the market of pay TV in Germany such as Google, Yahoo, Vodafone and Apple. They are not yet a real threat for the market leaders, but their growth rates are extremely high.

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