Deutsche Telekom Shuts Down MediaVision
In a move reflecting the slow growth of digital television in Germany, Deutsche Telekom has decided to close down its loss-making digital pay-TV platform MediaVision. The bouquet, which was launched in 1999, is believed to have attracted only an approximate 60,000 subscribers despite being available nationwide on Telekom’s cable network.
One of the reasons for the failure is believed to be the paradoxical fact that a large number of the channels on the MediaVision platform are available free-to-air via satellite, leaving cable customers in doubt as to why they should pay for something that is available at no cost to DTH viewers.
The bouquet consists of a number of thematic channels such as Fashion TV and Bloomberg TV as well as foreign language channels for ethnic minorities living in Germany, amomg them ATV (Turkey), TV Polonia (Poland), RTP Internacional (Portugal) and ERT SAT (Greece).
Therefore, many cable customers interested in a broad range of thematic and foreign channels have cancelled their cable contracts and invested in satellite equipment instead. Meanwhile, a replacement offer dubbed “DigiKabel” has commenced test transmissions on Telekom’s cable network with the full launch expected to take place in July.
The bouquet includes a range of thematic channels such as women’s channel Club, travel channel Liberty TV, religious service K-TV and tourism and weather channel TW1 as well as foreign channels such as Show T.V. and TGRT (Turkey), RAI Uno, RAI Due and RAI Tre (Italy) and TVE Canal 24 Horas and TVE Internacional (Spain). As with the MediaVision offer, most of the channels are available free-to-air on satellite, leaving the success of the new pay-TV platform open to speculation.