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November 29, 2005

Deutsche Telekom admits broadcasting intentions

Just weeks after Deutsche Telekom AG denied reports that it was seeking to turn itself into a television company, Europe's largest telecoms operator is now reportedly interested in bidding for the pay TV rights to transmit matches from the Bundesliga, Germany's top football league, as momentum increases behind IPTV (internet protocol television).

By CBR Staff Writer

According to German daily Die Welt, the internet arm of the German carrier T-Online is to compete with German pay television company Premiere and cable network operator Kabel Deutscheland for the rights, which should net the German soccer body, Deutsche Fussball Liga roughly 400m euros ($470m) annually for the 332 license packages up for sale.

Deutsche Telekom’s planned 3bn euro ($3.5bn) high-speed fiber-optic network is a major part of its triple-play strategy, although there is still no resolution to the stalemate between the EC telecoms commissioner and the German Government over its highly controversial precedent to exempt the network from regulation (specifically access to the network) in order to ensure Deutsche Telekom achieves adequate returns.

Over the next two years, the Bonn, Germany-based carrier is to upgrade large parts of its network. The upgrade means the carrier will strip out large parts of its old copper wire network and replace it with high-capacity fiber-optic cable capable of speeds of up to 50MBps. The roll-out will then cover 10 German cities by mid-2006, and by 2007 this will reach 50 of Germany’s largest cities.

Germany currently has approximately 8 million broadband subscribers, and the country plays host to the 2006 football World Cup next June.

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