Revenues Up, Losses Trimmed At Murdoch’s Sky Deutschland

1:36 AM PST 05/15/2012 by Scott Roxborough

The German pay TV group losses $96 million in the first quarter but boosts sales 18 percent to $409 million.

CANNES – Sky Deutschland, the German pay TV group controlled by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., grew strongly in the first quarter of 2012, even if it continues to bleed red ink.

Revenues at Sky jumped 18 percent to €318 million ($409 million) as subscriber numbers climbed to 3.1 million. Sky lost €75 million ($96 million) in the first quarter, down slightly from the €87 million loss it booked over the same period last year.

Where Sky has not been cutting back has been on programming costs, recently splashing out $2.5 billion for German rights to the 2013 to 2017 seasons of Germany’s Bundesliga soccer league and snatching talk show star Harald Schmidt for a new late-night show starting this fall.

And next week, the group will launch a German version of its Sky Atlantic brand, which features U.S. series such as Game of Thrones and Boardwalk Empire. The German Sky Atlantic will air the shows in both original English and German dubbed versions.

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