Premiere suffers losses

Struggling German pay TV broadcaster Premiere AG said it expects no subscriber growth for at least four months after worse-than-expected 2008 results as it prepares to tap shareholders for fresh funds.

The live broadcast rights holder for football games from Germany’s top league posted a wider-than-expected fourth-quarter loss and forecast more losses for the whole of 2009. Premiere, whose largest shareholder is News Corp, said it hoped a new marketing drive would help to win customers again in the third quarter. It reported a Q4 net loss of E114.3 million compared to E23.5 a year ago.

Premiere, the only pay-TV outlet in a country with more than 30 free channels, had 2.39 million direct subscribers at the end of 2008, down from 2.53 million a year earlier.

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