|Founded||28 February 1991|
Carsten Schmidt (CEO)|
(Chairman of the supervisory board)
|Revenue||€977.8 million (2010)|
|€367.6 million (2010)|
|Profit||€407.5 million (2010)|
|Total assets||€1.036 billion (2010)|
|Total equity||€333.8 million (2010)|
Number of employees
|1,420 (FTE, 2010)|
Das Besondere sehen.|
(English: Watching the Extraordinary.)
Sky Deutschland AG, branded as Sky, is a German media company which operates a Direct Broadcast Satellite Pay TV platform in Germany, Austria and Switzerland (through Teleclub) offering a collection of basic and premium digital subscription television channels of different categories via Satellite and Cable Television.
It was launched in 1991 as Premiere. The channel originally started off as a single analogue channel on the Astra 1A satellite, showing films dubbed into German as well as in original audio, live football matches from the German Bundesliga and Austrian Bundesliga (and at one time the UEFA Cup), as well as documentaries, and TV series. After the coming of the digital age, the service has since consisted of many channels with many new ones added over the years. On 4 July 2009, the service and its channels were re-branded as "Sky".
Sky Deutschland is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sky plc. The programming service itself is provided by its subsidiary Sky Deutschland Fernsehen GmbH & Co. KG (formerly Premiere Fernsehen GmbH & Co. KG). It topped 3,000,000 subscribers by the end of 2011. As of Q2 2014 Sky Deutschland has more than 4 million subscribers.
In 1996, Kirch Media launched a digital satellite platform called DF1 which offered several different channels, including premium movie and sports channels.
Premiere started broadcasting three digital channels in 1997, one channel mirroring the analogue channel and two showing the same content at different times.
Premiere and DF1 merged to form "Premiere World" on 1 October 1999. Many of the channels offered on DF1 were carried over to Premiere World, others were rebranded or closed.
In 2002, the service became known as simply "Premiere". Many of the channels were rebranded and the package structure was overhauled at the same time. At the same time, KirchGroup filed for bankruptcy. In 2003, investment group Permira stepped in and took control of Premiere.
Exclusivity was for a long time a major selling point for Premiere, and most of its channels were only available through the Premiere platform. This changed in September 2007, when Premiere launched "Premiere Star", a new satellite package made up of channels that weren't exclusive to Premiere. The new package Sky Welt/Extra. The package included TNT Serie, TNT Film, Sat.1 emotions, Kabel eins Classics, AXN, Kinowelt.TV, RTL Living, RTL Crime, FOX, Syfy Universal, Animax, Disney Junior, Disney XD, Boomerang, Cartoon Network, ESPN America, Eurosport HD, Eurosport 2, National Geographic Channel, Discovery Channel, MTV Germany, MTV Live HD and Nicktoons.
On 4 July 2009, Premiere was rebranded to become Sky Deutschland. In conjunction with the relaunch, many channels would disappear from the platform, many would switch packages, many were renamed and several new channels were added. The rebrand resulted a return of News Corporation's Sky brand in Germany since the encryption of the Sky Channel (now Sky1) in 1993, apart from availability of Sky News.
An inside account of the rise of Premiere, DF1, Premiere World and then Sky Deutschland to become a major satellite TV provider in Europe is given in the book, High Above, which tells the story of the foundation and development of the leading European satellite operator, SES.
Besides private customers Sky Germany also has trade customers using Sky TV to attract and entertain customers.
Following News Corporation's split into two on 28 June 2013 to create two separate companies, 21st Century Fox (the re-branded News Corporation), and the spin-off company New News Corp, the 54.5% stake held by News Corporation in Sky Deutschland was retained by the re-branded 21st Century Fox.
Following media speculation, on 12 May 2014 Sky Deutschland's sister company, BSkyB, confirmed that it was in talks with its largest shareholder, 21st Century Fox, about acquiring 21st Century Fox's 57.4% stake in Sky Deutschland and its 100% stake in Sky Italia. The enlarged company would be likely to be called "Sky Europe" and it will consolidate 21st Century Fox's European digital TV assets into one company. The acquisition of the 57.4% stake was formally announced on 25 July 2014. BSkyB also made a required takeover offer to Sky Deutschland's minority shareholders. This resulted in BSkyB acquiring 89.71% of Sky Deutschland's share capital in total. The acquisitions were completed on 13 November. British Sky Broadcasting Group plc changed its name to Sky plc on 21 November 2014. On 27 November 2014 Sky plc increased its shareholding in Sky Deutschland to 90.04%, and by 2015 had bought out the remaining shareholders, de-listing the company from the Frankfurt stock exchange.
On November 17, 2016, Sky Deutschland and WWE signed a multi-year agreement to distribute WWE's premier pay-per-view events and broadcast Raw and SmackDown live on Sky Sports starting in April 2017.
The channels that make up the Sky package broadcast from the Astra 19.2°E satellite position, using the Astra 1H, Astra 1L, and Astra 1M satellites. Channels are uplinked by Sky Italia. Between 2004 and 2016, they were uplinked by SES Platform Services (now MX1).
- Sky 1
- Sky Cinema
- Sky Atlantic
- Sky Krimi
- Sky Sport News
- Sky Sport Sky Sport 1 - 11 HD
- Sky Bungesliga HD1 to HD 10
- Sky Sport Austria
- Sky 3D (still a linear channel in Germany, unlike UK)
- Sky Select HD
- Sky Arts
Bone conduction advertising abuse
In 2013 the company considered using bone conduction via train windows to broadcast ads to train riders while sleeping or resting.
- "Annual Report 2010" (PDF). Sky Deutschland. Retrieved 13 March 2011.
- Christoph Steitz and Harro Ten Wolde (14 January 2013). "News Corp to grab control of Sky Deutschland". Reuters.
- "Premiere Star announces full channel line-up". broadbandtvnews.com. 16 August 2007.
- Statement on potential acquisition, BSkyB 12 May 2014. Retrieved: 19 June 2014.
- 'Sky Europe': what is behind BSkyB's effort to buy Murdoch's European pay-TV businesses?, The Daily Telegraph 12 May 2014. Retrieved: 19 June 2014.
- "Sky creates Europe's leading entertainment company". Sky. 13 November 2014. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
- "BSkyB to pay $9 billion to create Sky Europe". Reuters. 25 July 2014. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
- Middleton, Marc (17 November 2017). "WWE and SKY Deutschlan sign deal to istribute WWE's premier pay-per-view events and broadcast Raw and SmackDown live on SKY Sports starting in April 2017". Retrieved 17 November 2016.
- "Sky Deutschland Considering Using Bone Conduction To Force Ads On Train Riders - Slashdot". tech.slashdot.org. 2013-07-05. Retrieved 2013-07-07.