For the streaming platform: do Pro Sieben Sat 1 and Sky go together? – Business
In the 1990s, the media entrepreneur Leo Kirch set up a TV group in Munich, including pay-TV (still under the name Premiere) and free-to-air channels such as Sat 1 and Pro Sieben. After the collapse of the Kirch empire more than 20 years ago, the paths of the Pursue. But now the providers could come together again. According to SZ information, the listed television company Pro Sieben Sat 1 and the pay-TV provider Sky Deutschland are exploring a merger. The talks are still at the beginning, however, and a merger is anything but a “self-runner”, they say. Pro Sieben Sat 1 gave no comment.
sky Germany is part of the British Sky group, which in turn belongs to Comcast. The American media group, which has a strong position with NBC Universal, among other things, has been looking for a buyer for Sky in Germany, Austria and Switzerland as well as the offshoot in Italy for a long time. Last year, talks with other interested parties failed. Now Comcast wants to give a possible buyer “a dowry of several hundred million euros”, reported Reuters. Sky Germany shows, among other things, the Bundesliga and is one of the major financiers of the German Football League (DFL). At the same time, Sky operates the streaming service Wow, which shows content from the US provider HBO, such as the successful series “Success”, but also in-house productions.
Per seven Sat 1, in turn, has around four million customers with the primarily advertising-financed streaming platform Joyn. Customers pay subscription fees for Sky’s offer, but revenue is apparently declining. Together, Joyn and Wow could create a larger streaming platform. But the competition is tough, RTL operates RTL plus, along with Disney +, Netflix, Amazon Prime and, in the sports sector, Dazn. At the same time, viewers’ budgets are limited.
Pro Sieben Sat 1 is currently struggling with problems in its core business, free-to-air linear television channels. Ad revenue goes down. In the first quarter of 2022 there was a loss of 15 million euros for the first time in many years. For the further course of the year, however, the mood could improve, said the new CEO Bert Habets: “In June we are already seeing significant improvements in advertising bookings compared to the previous months.” Still, he had announced an austerity program a few weeks ago. Habets comes from competitor RTL and only took over the management of the company last November. He had expressly not ruled out larger acquisitions.
The Italians have a say
The free-to-air business TV is not going as well as it used to anyway, especially younger viewers (but meanwhile also more and more older ones) are turning away and going to streaming services. In this respect, a merger with Sky in this business would bring greater clout.
Media for Europe (MFE), the media company of the Italian right-wing politician Silvio Berlusconi, holds a good 25 percent of the shares in Pro Sieben Sat 1. Habet’s predecessors had always vehemently opposed the Italian shareholder. MFE acquired the first paper about five years ago, and now the Italians want to be on the Pro Sieben Sat 1 supervisory board for the first time. Media manager Katharina Behrends is to be elected to the supervisory board at the annual general meeting at the end of June. Incidentally, she previously worked for the US television company NBC Universal – and thus for the current Sky owner Comcast.