German pay television Sky Deutschland is seeking tie-ups with cable operators to counter incumbent rival Deutsche Telekom, Sky boss Brian Sullivan said in an interview published today. Sky, which has been losing clients at a rapid pace, is “in advanced talks with several cable operators” such as Kabel Deutschland and Unitymedia, “but also with other potential distribution partners,” Sullivan told the business daily Handelsblatt.
Discussions should wrap up in the coming months and would offer operators content such as Sky’s live transmissions of German Bundesliga football matches. “Cable groups could increase sales with us, because they need top quality content to compete with Deutsche Telekom,” Sullivan said.
Sky would thus have access to new clients, which it needs badly after losing around one million to hit its current level of 2.5 million. The group needs to reach at least three million customers to make a profit. Deutsche Telekom has cut into Sky’s customer base by offering Bundesliga matches live via the Internet since last year.
The US media group News Corp owns 45 percent of the shares in Sky Deutschland and is to pump 340 million euros ($430 million) into the loss-making media group in the coming months.