Deutsche Telekom attacks cable on own turf

Friday 11 February 2011 | 12:24 CET | Market Commentary

Deutsche Telekom is preparing an attack on German cable network operators on ‘their’ own turf of TV services. According to reports in the German media, Telekom plans to offer wholesale TV services to German housing corporations using its own existing fibre networks. The corporations are currently dependent on cable operators for their TV services. At the same time, Telekom is in talks with German pay-TV operator Sky Deutschland to offer their TV channels to the housing corporations as well.


Meanwhile, the CEO of Deutsche Telekom’s German consumer unit Telekom Deutschland, Niek-Jan van Damme, complains in an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that it is unfair that cable operators are not ordered to open their networks to other TV service providers, while Telekom has to offer open access to its VDSL/fibre networks for broadband and telephony services.


Telekom Deutschland is not new to the TV market as it offers its own IPTV service Entertain to 1.2 million customers and a pay-TV package offering live matches from Germany’s two highest football leagues called Liga Total!.

Whether the cable operators will be impressed by Telekom’s moves on the TV market remains to be seen. Firstly, their contracts with housing corporations are long term contracts which cannot be ended without hassle. With regards to opening their networks to other TV service providers through regulation, the cable operators will not be scared either. The German market is similar to the Dutch market: a couple of large cable operators and multiple smaller ones and Dutch regulator Opta has, until now, failed in creating regulation to force cable network operators to open their networks.


In any case, Deutsche Telekom has chosen to attack a market where it has a large growth potential for revenues and ARPU.

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