News Corp.'s Sky Deutschland Passes 3 Million Subscriber Mark

The German pay-TV group is still losing money but lines up $400 million to fuel further growth.

COLOGNE, Germany -- Sky Deutschland, the German pay-TV group controlled by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., has passed the 3 million subscriber mark, although it is still losing money.

In its earnings report for the fourth quarter of 2011, Sky said it had just over 3 million subscribers by year's end, a net gain of 359,000. Revenue jumped 17 percent to $1.5 billion (€1.14 billion) and operating losses were cut by 42 percent but still remained high at $203 million (€155 million).

Sky also announced plans to secure a further $400 million (€300 million) to fund further growth via a rights offer, a private placement, a convertible loan, a shareholder's loan from News Corp. or a combination of all four.

News Corp. has agreed to backstop the new credit line, but Sky said it was structuring the financing in such a way that News Corp.'s stake in Sky Deutschland would not exceed 49.9 percent, unless News Corp. decided otherwise.

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