Unity Media, arena and Premiere agree on distribution and marketing partnership in cable

Bundesliga live for all fans in Germany

(PresseBox) ( Cologne / Munich, )
The new Bundesliga channel arena will be available in cable throughout Germany. Pay TV provider Premiere is to market arena in cable and will have a technical reach of approximately 9.6 million cable TV households in the Kabel Deutschland regions. At the same time, the cable operators ish, iesy and Tele Columbus, subsidiaries of the arena parent company Unity Media, will also offer their customers Premiere packages directly. Arena and Premiere have concluded a distribution and marketing contract to this effect. Via Premiere, ish, iesy, Tele Columbus, Kabel BW and smaller cable operators, arena reaches practically all cable customers in Germany. Arena has previously secured national distribution via satellite with its own system.

Premiere is to carry the offering from broadcaster arena in unaltered format and has decided to offer individual subscriptions initially for € 14.90 to cable customers in the Kabel Deutschland regions. In all cable networks, in addition to the arena and Premiere individual offers there will also be attractive combined offers. Premiere, ish and iesy will announce further price and product details shortly. The satellite offering from arena will be unaffected by the cooperation agreement.

“We are delighted with this breakthrough, which makes the offering for all cable customers in Germany more attractive. Only customers of ish and iesy can receive arena, Premiere and also Internet and telephony from a single source,” says Parm Sandhu, CEO of Unity Media.

“We are keeping to our promise of making the arena channel and the football Bundesliga available to all fans via cable and satellite, and of going on air in August with a unique product,” says Dejan Jocic, Managing Director of arena.

”The Premiere-Arena offering is good news for hundreds of thousands of football fans and particularly for Premiere’s subscribers,” says Georg Kofler, CEO of Premiere. ”For many Premiere subscribers, this basically means that nothing will change next season. With arena on Premiere, also in future they can enjoy the Bundesliga live.“

The arena distribution structure for the whole of Germany is therefore now complete. Satellite customers can order directly from arena at www.arena.tv or on 01805-5122. Cable customers should contact their cable operator (ish, iesy, Kabel BW or other) or if located in the Kabel Deutschland regions, Premiere (www.premiere.de; Hotline no. 0180 / 55 100 00). Existing decoders can still be used in cable, and an existing Smartcard can be activated within a few minutes. New customers can receive decoders and Smartcards either from Premiere, their cable operator or in retail stores.

About Unity Media:
The Unity Media Group, which is based in Cologne, stands, as the parent company of cable operators ish (North Rhine-Westphalia), iesy (Hesse) and Tele Columbus, for entertainment and multimedia from a single provider. In addition to traditional analogue TV and radio programmes, ish in NRW, iesy in Hesse and Tele Columbus offer digital TV, Internet and telephony services. As of 31 December 2005, Unity Media reported around 5.1 million customers with cable access for ish and iesy, of which 119,000 are digital TV subscribers, 34,600 Internet subscribers and 13,200 telephone subscribers.
As Germany’s largest operator of in-house networks (network level 4), Tele Columbus reaches 2.6 million homes, of which 67,300 are digital TV subscribers and 25,100 Internet subscribers.
With arena, Unity Media has also acquired the live broadcasting rights to the Bundesliga. From the start of the 2006/2007 season, arena will be broadcasting live all matches of the first and second league live via satellite and cable. Further information can be found on the Internet at www.unitymedia.de

About arena:
arena Sport Rechte und Marketing GmbH was awarded the rights to broadcast live all matches of the German Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga in December 2005 by the DFL (Deutsche Fußball Liga) following a tender process. Since acquiring the rights, arena has developed its own TV broadcasting station, provided the necessary technical infrastructure for cable and satellite distribution, and has put together attractive programme packages at reasonable prices. On 7 June, arena was also awarded the public viewing rights by the DFL. Starting 11 August 2006, arena will bring the stadium atmosphere of the Bundesliga live into German homes. The arena team brings together experienced (sport) managers and TV specialists. arena is a 100% subsidiary of Unity Media with the leading cable operators of ish, iesy and Tele Columbus.
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