ProSiebenSat.1 reportedly interested in acquiring Sky Deutschland from Comcast

Rumours regarding a proposed break up of Sky’s European empire are gathering pace. Having first been mooted in October, news agency Reuters has reported that ProSiebenSat.1 is looking at acquiring Sky Deutschland for around €1 billion.

News that Sky owner Comcast might be looking to offload its German PayTV division began circulating around the time of the company’s Q3 2022 results. Reuters has fanned the flames of the rumours by suggesting that Comcast is working with advisory firm PJT Partners on the pros and cons of selling the German business.

On the face of it, the deal would be surprising. Combined with its UK and Italian operations, Sky has built a formidable brand in Europe – leveraging its combined subscriber base to drive an ambitious content creation programme. That said, PayTV in Germany has always been a tough proposition because of the strength of the free content ecosystem. Comcast may be looking at a model where it no longer has to bid for sports rights, while building up its Peacock streaming brand instead.

As for Pro7Sat1, the company is primarily built around ad-funded operations – including its AVOD streaming platform Joyn. But it may see the acquisition as an opportunity to grow its subscription business while dispensing with a key rival. It’s not clear, however, whether such a deal would encounter regulatory pushback.

ProSiebenSat.1 has itself been the subject of acqusition speculation of late, with shareholder MediaForEurope recently upping its stake to just short of the 30% threshold that would trigger a mandatory takeover offer.

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