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Sky, Telekom play ball in Germany

Telco subscribers gain access to Bundesliga soccer

BERLIN — German feevee operator Sky Deutschland has inked with Deutsche Telekom to provide top league German soccer and other content to the telco giant’s TV subscribers.

Deutsche Telekom had offered Bundesliga matches on its IPTV platform Entertain, but lost its bid to renew its license last year after the loss-making Sky agreed to pay €485.7 million ($634 million) per season for live rights to all Bundesliga games from 2013 through 2017 in a bid to lure new subscribers.

The pact, announced Friday, will give Sky access to Deutsche Telekom’s 1.9 Entertain subscribers beginning this summer. Of those, 190,000 customers currently subscribe to the telco’s Bundesliga package.

Sky is hoping most of those will sign new Sky contracts by the end of the upcoming season. The hugely popular Bundesliga matches usually draw around 18 million TV viewers.

In addition to the Sky Fussball Bundesliga offering, the deal also includes UEFA Champions League soccer games via its Sky Sport service as well as films, series and entertainment programming via Sky Film, Sky Welt and Sky HD.

Sky has 3.2 subscribers in Germany and Austria.

The companies declined to provide financial details of the deal, which helped boost Sky’s shares by nearly 3% to $5.84 — its highest price since 2008.

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