Hardware Costs Trigger Loss at Germany's Top Pay-TV Firm

14 November 2008

UNTERFOEHRING: Market-leading German pay-TV company Premiere has posted a third quarter loss of €89.1 million ($111.89m; £74.53m), mainly attributable to the cost of new anti-piracy hardware.

This is the fourth consecutive quarter in which the company has posted a loss, driven by increased cost and the erosion of subscriptions income after hackers gained access to its broadcasts.

Premiere responded by commissioning a costly new encryption system that restricts access to its content to paying subscribers only.

The company forecast a full-year EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization) loss of between €40m to €60m, narrowing the range from €40m to €70m forecast  in October. Sales are expected to reach €1.02 billion.

Jumping the gun before the inevitable critical broadside, the broadcaster's ceo  Mark Williams said it first: "Premiere can do much better," he told reporters during a conference call.

Data sourced from Bloomberg.com (Germany); additional content by WARC staff