Comcast considers selling German unit Sky Deutschland
Comcast Corp. is considering a sale of its pay-TV business in Germany, which weighed on its European operations last quarter, people familiar with the matter said.
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The US broadcaster is working with a consultant to explore options for Sky Germany, the people said, asking not to be identified when discussing confidential information. The deliberations are in progress and Comcast can also decide against a sale, it said.
According to the people, the unit could be valued at around €1 billion ($998 million) in any sale. A Comcast representative declined to comment.
Comcast, the largest pay-TV provider in the US, acquired Sky Germany as part of its $39 billion purchase of British broadcaster Sky in 2018. In its third-quarter results, Comcast said that in Europe, revenue was lower in Italy and Germany offset gains in its UK market. The company billed an $8.6 billion non-cash charge to Sky due to “macroeconomic conditions” in Europe.
In recent years, Sky Deutschland has faced increasing competition from the streamer DAZN Group Ltd. which has won rights to broadcast German Bundesliga football matches and some UEFA Champions League matches in the country.
“From the 2021/22 season, Sky DE lost Champions League coverage and its share of Bundesliga coverage fell,” said Francois Godard, media analyst at Enders Analysis. “There has been a negative impact on subscriptions, a loss of possibly two or three hundred thousand and on average spend per subscriber.”
However, Godard said Sky Deutschland’s lower revenue would be offset by falling costs, putting the German platform on a financially sustainable path.
“Sky Germany is below average compared to its British sister,” he said. “You don’t have a telecom business. Maybe a German buyer could merge and scale it with something else.”
Comcast shares rose 1.5% Thursday after earnings forecasts, valuing the company at $138 billion. Bloomberg