Saturday, August 19, 2006

Tele2/Versatel stops sports program

Tele2/Versatel stops to broadcast their own sports program by ADSL and satellite. The company will continue to broadcast the soccer games and will use the wide screen format.

Versatel bought the rights to broadcast soccer by ADSL last year. The company aimed at 100.000 users by the end of 2005, but did not succeed. In the meantime it has merged with the activities of Tele2. At the start of their second competition season, Tele2/Versatel has now 84.000 subscribers by ADSL+ and 12.000 subscribers by satellite.

Tele2/Versatel own television program Tele2 Soccer Live will not return. It was broadcasted on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and had three presenters. The company indicated that the program did not attract too many viewers; so the company decided to save the money (Tele2/Versatel made a loss over the first half year).

Balancing the bad news was the announcement to broadcast the soccer games on wide screens. The advantage will be that a larger part of the soccer field will be shown than in the old 4:3 screen format. The new format will be used for the 306 prime division games and the 22 play-off games in the new season of 2006/2007. But Tele2/Versatel is not only serving the soccer fans. Tele2 will also start transferring movies in the 16:9 screen format.

Besides the premier league and play-off soccer games, the national public broadcast organisation is about to take the decision to broadcast its Champions League soccer games in the 16:9 format. In the fall the wide screen penetration in the Netherlands will almost be 50 percent of the 6.9 million households.

Although Tele2/Versatel are not giving up the broadcast of the soccer games through ADSL+ and satellite, the project has proven to be a real bootstrap for entertainment. The Tele2 Complete TV offers more than 50 television and radio channels as well as on demand repeats. You can link to a movies program or rent movies. All this is completed with soccer broadcasts.

Looking back, Tele2/Versatel will not be satisfied with their investment in the soccer broadcast. But in comparison with KPN it looks like Tele2/Versatel has a small advantage in the organisation of its entertainment and technical offer. Besides it has the advantage that KPN is not ready to roll out its service Mine. But 96.000 subscribers on 6.9 million households shows that there is still a long way to go...


Blog Posting Number: 479

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