Top German pay TV services merge

Premiere World to offer 25 channels, internet services

BERLIN — Germany’s leading pay TV services, Premiere and DF1, will soon be merging into one entity to be called Premiere World, the Kirch Group announced Tuesday.

The service, set to debut in October, will be offering some 25 channels as well as Internet and interactive services.

While pay TV in Germany has been suffering heavy losses, Premiere execs hope future sports programming will entice TV viewers to subscribe.

Speaking at a recent media conference in Ludwigshafen, managing director Ferdinand Kayser said that while the number of live sporting events on free TV has more than doubled in the past few years, the trend is coming to an end.

Internet, interactive services

Kayser also said Premiere’s other services will attract more subscribers in the near future. With the October launch, Premiere World will be offering interactive services and Internet access via its D-Box digital decoder. In addition, the price of the D-Box is expected to drop by 20% in coming months.

Stephan Sager is set to become head of programming for Premiere World, while Kayser and Markus Tellenbach, managing director of Kirch Pay TV, will oversee operations. While no date was announced for Premiere’s move from Hamburg to Munich, the pay TV’s sports and promotion divisions will be the first to make the transition.

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