BERLIN — Seeking to expand beyond advertising-based TV, ProSiebenSat 1 is launching a video-on-demand service as well as two pay TV channels in coming months.
Unveiled Wednesday, on the eve of CeBIT, the world’s largest computer fair, the service is a joint venture with United Internet.
Dubbed Maxdome, the VOD portal will offer a portfolio of films, comedies and series to be accessed via PC or TV set-top box.
In addition, ProSiebenSat 1 will make its pay TV debut in May with the launch of two channels, Sat.1 Comedy and Kabel Eins Classics.
One of Germany’s largest Internet providers, United Internet reaches some 18 million active users.
“DSL is a new way for us to reach viewers, especially the younger generations, who grew up with computers,” said ProSiebenSat 1 CEO Guillaume de Posch.
The venture will go up against a VOD service here operated by telco giant Deutsche Telekom’s T-Online division.
“The strategic partnership between United Internet and ProSiebenSat 1 defines a new added value for DSL connection,” said United Internet chairman Ralph Dommermuth. “A comprehensive video-on-demand package is thus available for the first time as a subscription at a fixed monthly price.”
United Internet will handle streaming, billing and customer management.
Maxdome will have access to ProSiebenSat 1’s vast stockpile of films including the two “Mission: Impossible” films, “Forrest Gump,” “Saw 2,” “March of the Penguins,” “Million Dollar Baby” and “The Constant Gardener.”
Also available over the portal will be popular programming from group channels Sat.1, ProSieben, Kabel Eins and N24.
ProSiebenSat1 will similarly exploit its programming on its new 24-hour pay TV channels, which will be available as part of cable operators’ digital pay packages.
“With our two new pay TV channels, we are embarking on a new line of business,” said de Posch. “We’re taking advantage of our strong free TV brands to offer viewers special additional services.”
Kabel Eins Classics will offer Hollywood and European pics from the ’40s to the ’90s, as well as classic U.S. series.
Sat.1 Comedy will carry feature-length comedies from Hollywood and Europe, U.S. sitcoms and popular comedies from Sat.1 and ProSieben. The webs will be available on KDG’s pay TV package, Kabel Digital Home, and Unity’s Tividi.
Overseeing both the VOD venture and the new pay TV offering is ProSiebenSat 1 subsidiary SevenSenses, part of the group’s Diversification division.
SevenSenses is headed by Thomas Schultheis and Dirk Kleine.