In theory, it should be one of the most dynamic pay-TV markets in Europe, but you can’t help feeling the pay-TV industry has missed a trick in recent years and that it was indeed lagging behind other major markets in Europe. There is a curious lack of success stories in the market and you get the feeling that the battle for hearts and minds of the German digital TV consumer is very much open, and it is not easy to pick any clear winners.
What role satellite plays on this landscape is open to question too, and whether Premiere and ArenaSat can make the most of the opportunities there are undoubtedly are in this market. As SES Astra has found out with Entavio, it is not an easy market to come up with the right business models.
It seemed somewhat ironic to me yesterday that the most controversial speaker on the opening panel at ANGA titled, “Networks, platforms and programmes, who dominates the digital world?”‚ was in fact a non-German speaker, Parm Sandhu, the CEO of the Unitymedia Group. Sandhu was an impressive speaker and whether talking about NetCologne‘s (a local city telco based in Cologne) prospects (or rather the lack of them) or questioning the influence of public service broadcasters in Germany, he certainly made a strong impression on the audience.
In my mind, he seems to have replaced Goerg Kofler, ex-CEO of Premiere as the main attraction on the so-called heavyweight panel at ANGA. Like Kofler, Sandhu is not afraid to speak his mind. It will be interesting to see how Unitymedia does under his leadership. With Unitymedia also running the ArenaSAT satellite platform, there are one of the most multi-faceted interesting companies to watch in Europe’s major markets in terms of pay-TV. Look out for them.