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Telekom to focus on monetising TV in CEE as subscriber growth flattens

Deutsche Telekom will focus on making more money from existing TV subscribers in its markets outside Germany rather than acquiring more customers in “increasingly penetrated” markets, according to chief financial officer Thomas Dannenfeldt.

Speaking to analysts after Telekom posted its quarterly results at the end of last week Dannenfeldt said that some of the markets in which Telekom is active in TV were now highly penetrated. He said that the company “will shift our focus increasingly towards better monetization” of TV.

Telekom added only 22,000 customers outside its domestic market in the quarter to June, but strengthened its base of customers taking converged bundles of products by 229,000.

Dannenfeldt also admitted that Telekom’s “run rate remains below target” in adding TV subscribers in the German market, were it recorded 47,000 additions. However, he said the company had been able to “improve the mix” in terms of the products its customers took.

Deutsche Telekom saw its German TV base increase by 1.5% quarter-on-quarter to 3.24 million at the end of June, while its base for the rest of Europe increased by just 0.5% to 4.293 million.

Despite the Q2 slowdown, Telekom’s German TV base – including both IPTV and satellite customers – has increased by 7.1% year-on-year, boosted by stronger gains in the second half of last year. The broadband base has gone up by only 3.1%, but Telekom’s fibre base has increased by 30.3% year-on-year to 6.559 million.

Telekom CEO Timotheus Höttges has been highly critical of Vodafone’s planned acquisition of Liberty Global’s German unit Unitymedia, which he says will give the combined entity an unfair advantage in the TV market.

Telekom also saw only modest growth for fixed broadband – up 0.6% – and mobile customers in its domestic market in the quarter to June, with its contract base declining, and a decline in its fixed phone base. In the rest of Europe, broadband and mobile customers rose by 1.3% each.