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Sky Deutschland

Sky Deutschland AG
Traded as FWBSKYD
Industry Media
Founded 28 February 1991
Headquarters Unterföhring, Germany
Area served
Germany, Austria
Key people
Brian Sullivan (CEO), James Murdoch (Chairman of the supervisory board)
Services Pay TV
Television Production
Revenue €977.8 million (2010)[1]
11px (€367.6 million) (2010)[1]
#redirect Template:If affirmed 11px (€407.5 million) (2010)[1]
Total assets €1.036 billion (end 2010)[1]
Total equity €333.8 million (end 2010)[1]
Owner Sky plc (90.04%)
Number of employees
1,420 (FTE, end 2010)[1]
Sky Deutschland
Availability Cable
Slogan Das Besondere sehen. (English: Watching the Extraordinary.)
Former names

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 plc owns 90.04% of Sky Deutschland; the remaining shares are owned by diverse shareholders.[2][3] The service owns 100 percent of its subsidiary Sky Deutschland Fernsehen GmbH & Co. KG (formerly Premiere Fernsehen GmbH & Co. KG).

Sky Deutschland topped 3,000,000 subscribers by the end of 2011. As of Q2 2014 Sky Deutschland more than 4 million subscribers.


File:Typical sign advertising that this pub offers Sky TV.jpg
Typical illuminated Sky sign showing that a pub offers SKY TV

The German Sky has its origin in the analogue premium channel "Premiere". It was owned by Kirch Group, Bertelsmann and Canal+ and started broadcasting in 1991.

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.[4]

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.[5][6] The acquisition of the 57.4% stake was formally announced on 25 July 2014.[7] BSkyB also made a required takeover offer to Sky Deutschland's minority shareholders.[8] This resulted in BSkyB acquiring 89.71% of Sky Deutschland's share capital in total. The acquisitions were completed on 13 November.[7] 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%.[7]


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 SES Platform Services.

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.[9]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Annual Report 2010" (PDF). Sky Deutschland. Retrieved 13 March 2011. 
  2. ^ Sky Deutschland says raises about 177.4 mln eur in rights issue
  3. ^ Christoph Steitz and Harro Ten Wolde (14 January 2013). "News Corp to grab control of Sky Deutschland". Reuters. 
  4. ^ "Premiere Star announces full channel line-up". 16 August 2007. 
  5. ^ Statement on potential acquisition, BSkyB 12 May 2014. Retrieved: 19 June 2014.
  6. '^ 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.
  7. ^ a b c "Sky creates Europe’s leading entertainment company". Sky. 13 November 2014. Retrieved 13 November 2014. 
  8. ^ "BSkyB to pay $9 billion to create Sky Europe". Reuters. 25 July 2014. Retrieved 25 July 2014. 
  9. ^ "Sky Deutschland Considering Using Bone Conduction To Force Ads On Train Riders - Slashdot". 2013-07-05. Retrieved 2013-07-07. 

External links