Satellite operator Eutelsat is to sell Kabelkiosk, its German channel distribution service, to Luxembourg's M7 Group.
The sale, the amount of which was undisclosed, marks a change for M7, which since its inception has largely focused on operating DTH (direct-to-home) satellite platforms. M7 currently has active DTH pay TV platforms in Austria, Benelux, Czech Republic, Slovakia and most recently Hungary. In contrast, KabelKiosk focuses on the wholesale provision of channel packages to cable and IPTV operators across Germany. Most recently on 20 May 2014, the German operator announced the launch of a product for IPTV networks dubbed ‘Mein Fernsehen’, which as well as linear IPTV services provides video-on-demand and multiscreen functionality through over-the-top (OTT) delivery.
Despite the change in ownership of KabelKiosk, Eutelsat will continue to be involved with the service via the provision of its satellite uplink services and through the lease of its 9°E orbital satellite slot to M7. The transaction, which is pending regulatory approval, is expected to close in July.
In April 2014, M7 launched M7 Platform Services. This service provides broadcasters with infrastructure for channel distribution. This, together with M7’s partnerships with Eutelsat, suggests that part of M7’s strategy involves realising synergies from having interests in both the technical supply of channels and the distribution of pay TV further down the vertical supply chain. If the M7 Platform Services initiative is viewed alongside the KabelKiosk acquisition, an additional strategic move towards expansion via partnering with third parties is becoming apparent.