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Comcast explores sale of Sky satellite business in Germany

A Sky television retail outlet in Manchester, England as it appeared in April 2022.
A Sky television retail outlet in Manchester, England as it appeared in April 2022. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons, Graphic by The Desk)

Comcast Corporation his considering a sale of its Sky satellite business based in Germany, according to a new report.

On Friday, financial news outlet Bloomberg said Comcast has hired an advisor to explore the possibility of selling off its Sky Deutschland television service.

Sky Deutschland was acquired by Comcast in 2018 as part of a broader purchase of Sky Group, which also includes pay television products in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Italy. Sky Deutschland serves German-speaking television viewers in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

The Sky satellite business includes the pay television platform as well as a handful of Sky-branded TV channels, a handful of which are available on competing cable television services. The service was launched by Bertelsmann and Canal Plus as Premiere in the early 1990s.

Financial analysts say Sky Deutschland is weighing down Comcast’s balance sheet, with lower revenue in Germany and Italy offsetting gains made at Sky’s UK and Ireland businesses. As in the United States, the pay television business in Germany is declining as more customers get their entertainment and live content fix from streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus and DAZN.

Sky Deutschland also faces tough competition from Deutsche Telecom and Vodafone, which have invested heavily in building out their digital television platforms over the last few years. Both Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone offer consumers numerous other services, including wireless phone and broadband Internet, that can be bundled into a single package, whereas Sky Deustchland is mostly a pure-play television provider.

It was not clear if Comcast has generated any interest from a potential suitor for Sky Deutschland, but financial analysts say the company could be worth around €1 billion (about $1 billion).

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).