Deutsche Telekom ‘back in cable’

Deutsche Telekom is re-entering the German cable television market in “a tactical move,”, says local press quoting spokesman Marc Sauser. “We want to throw a wrench in the works of the cable companies….We’re a newcomer and will be the smallest player in this market.”

The company, which disposed of all its cable assets almost 10 years ago, has since seen cable companies entering its market with Internet and telephony offerings in addition to TV. Deutsche Telekom is looking to make deals with German housing associations, of which there are 4,000 to 5,000. They control TV feeds for about 10 million households. It won’t sell directly to end-customers.

There are no plans to sell triple-play products that include broadband and phone over cable, Sauser said. Depending on which region they are in, customers will be able to receive between 25 and 30 channels through the Deutsche Telekom cable. Customers can also choose Sky Deutschland’s pay-TV channels.

So far, Deutsche Telekom has contracts with “some” housing associations, and pilot projects have been running since last year. Sauser said the company will evaluate each new potential agreement and lay cable to supply the TV feed if it is necessary and financially viable. He declined to say how much the company has invested in the business.

Deutsche Telekom already has 1.2m subscribers to its Entertain IPTV service.

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