Deutsche Telekom: Let us 'Entertain' you


MUNICH -- By dangling the carrot of free, top-league Bundesliga soccer in front of German sports fans, telecom giant Deutsche Telekom hopes to whip up 50% more subscribers to its IPTV service "T-Home Entertain" within the next 10 days, the company said Friday.

"Entertain" now has 100,000 customers, and the company hopes to sign another 50,000 by year's end with the free Bundesliga marketing ploy, said a T-Home spokesman.

T-Home will offer free full coverage of the second half of the Bundesliga season to new customers signing up for the full "Entertain" program starting Jan. 15.

Watching live Bundesliga matches on "Entertain" normally costs about 10 euros ($14.40) extra per month, and those signing up for the service will have to pay once the season ends. "Entertain" also features such U.S. cable offerings as the History Channel and National Geographic, among a palette of about 145 channels.

According to T-Home figures, 17 million households in Germany are technically able to receive IPTV, with 27 cities on the super high-speed VDSL network. Telekom plans to add 23 more cities to the VDSL roster in 2008.