You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Premiere breaks out, even

BERLIN – After years of slow going, German pay TV channel Premiere finally is taking off. The Hamburg-based web announced Wednesday that it grew by 30% in 1996, passing the break-even mark. Premiere now has 1.4 million subscribers, and has earned 500 million marks ($330 million) this year.

Premiere, which broadcasts mainly premium movies and sporting events, struggled for five years before finally signing up 1 million subscribers, three years behind schedule. Germany’s first pay TV channel, Premiere’s problems led many in the industry to doubt the future of pay TV in Germany, given the extensive free-TV offerings.

Premiere recently has gotten competition from Bavaria media baron Leo Kirch’s digital pay TV web DF1, which launched in July. While DF1 has only 20,000 subscribers to date, the current focus on pay television in Germany may have helped Premiere out of its hole.

Premiere has plans to go digital in early 1997, though it remains unclear whether the channel will be broadcast over the DF1 platform or remain independent.

Media giants Bertelsmann and Canal Plus each hold 37.5% stakes in Premiere, while the Kirch Group owns 25% of the web.

More Scene

  • Mr Chow 50th Anniversary celebration

    Mr. Chow 50th Anniversary Party Draws Stevie Wonder, Heidi Klum & More Stars

    BERLIN – After years of slow going, German pay TV channel Premiere finally is taking off. The Hamburg-based web announced Wednesday that it grew by 30% in 1996, passing the break-even mark. Premiere now has 1.4 million subscribers, and has earned 500 million marks ($330 million) this year. Premiere, which broadcasts mainly premium movies and […]

  • Paley Center for Media presents They

    African-American Showrunners Talk Strides in TV Representation

    BERLIN – After years of slow going, German pay TV channel Premiere finally is taking off. The Hamburg-based web announced Wednesday that it grew by 30% in 1996, passing the break-even mark. Premiere now has 1.4 million subscribers, and has earned 500 million marks ($330 million) this year. Premiere, which broadcasts mainly premium movies and […]

  • 'Annihilation' film premiere

    'Annihilation' Star Jennifer Jason Leigh Responds to Whitewashing Accusations

    BERLIN – After years of slow going, German pay TV channel Premiere finally is taking off. The Hamburg-based web announced Wednesday that it grew by 30% in 1996, passing the break-even mark. Premiere now has 1.4 million subscribers, and has earned 500 million marks ($330 million) this year. Premiere, which broadcasts mainly premium movies and […]

  • Viola Davis Women in the World

    Viola Davis on #MeToo: 'If You're Dedicated to Change, Let It Cost You Something'

    BERLIN – After years of slow going, German pay TV channel Premiere finally is taking off. The Hamburg-based web announced Wednesday that it grew by 30% in 1996, passing the break-even mark. Premiere now has 1.4 million subscribers, and has earned 500 million marks ($330 million) this year. Premiere, which broadcasts mainly premium movies and […]

  • LeBron James Stephen Curry All-Star Game

    NBA All-Star Weekend 2018: The Ultimate Party Guide

    BERLIN – After years of slow going, German pay TV channel Premiere finally is taking off. The Hamburg-based web announced Wednesday that it grew by 30% in 1996, passing the break-even mark. Premiere now has 1.4 million subscribers, and has earned 500 million marks ($330 million) this year. Premiere, which broadcasts mainly premium movies and […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content