For months there have been rumors that Sky is for sale. Now a deal that was actually considered safe has burst – because of the high price. But the next candidate is already ready.
The best content is only available for money – this is completely normal everyday life in the television landscape in many countries. In Germany, only one pay-TV channel, Sky, has been able to assert itself. For months, the operator Comcast has been trying to sell the station to another company. Shortly before the end of the year, a deal that was believed to be safe fell through.
This is reported by the industry service “Clap”. Accordingly, the United Internet group, which had long been traded as a buyer, had called off the purchase. Blame is said to be a purchase price that has been set too high: the US group Comcast is said to have demanded one billion euros for Sky Germany. So far, neither company has wanted to confirm whether this is true: Neither United Internet nor Comcast have commented in any way on the sales plans that became known for the first time in October.
Who buys Sky?
There are several reasons why United Internet has been considered the safest candidate for several months. Probably the most important: Comcast wants to get rid of the German Sky offshoot mainly because the company in Germany – unlike in the home country USA and also in Great Britain – is not also active as an Internet provider. Attractive packages of cable television and Internet access cannot be bundled in this way. United Internet would therefore be an ideal candidate: With its subsidiary 1
Many of the competitors are said to have already rejected offers. The TV conglomerate ProSiebenSat1 had already denied a report by the agency “Reuters” in November that it wanted to take over Sky, other candidates such as Telekom and Vodafone are said to have said goodbye to the negotiations that had been going on for months much earlier.
The French provider Canal is now the last possible candidate. Not only did he help set up the Sky predecessor Premiere 30 years ago, he also negotiated a deal to broadcast the Champions League in Austria as a partner to several Internet providers in the summer. Initially, Canal was also traded as a possible partner of United Internet in the Sky deal, now the broadcaster would have to make the purchase on its own. However, it seems unlikely that this will take place this year, as Comcast apparently hopes.
The fact that Comcast wants to sell Sky should also be due to the rather disappointing numbers of recent years. With the boom in streaming services, Sky suddenly faced stiff competition. In addition, license partners such as Disney no longer released their new films in order to be able to offer them exclusively on their own streaming portal. The ever-increasing costs for the important live football coverage also meant that Sky has not been able to show all Bundesliga games for several years. And so it loses added value even for die-hard football fans.
How severe the slump was cannot be precisely quantified: Comcast does not publish any figures for its individual Sky locations in Germany and Italy. What is clear, however, is that a sharp slump in subscriptions was observed across both countries in the first quarters of the year. Together with the also declining advertising bookings, annual revenue fell by two to just 11 billion euros. The fact that the profit rose by 200 million euros to 2.2 billion euros is due to the fact that the group was able to save considerable costs by losing football licenses.
It is still unclear what impact the sale would have on customers. After all, no details are known about the scope of the sale. For example, it is conceivable that parts of Sky, such as the Wow streaming service, will remain with Comcast. But football should also remain an important topic for the new owner: the Bundesliga rights have already been negotiated until 2025.
Sources: Bloomberg, Clap