Over 1,000,000 households in NRW and Hesse switched to digital cable

Friday, June 13th, 2008
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COLOGNE — Over one million households in NRW and Hessen now receive their television and radio broadcasts via Unitymedia digital cable connections. This strong trend among consumers to switch to digital is the result of Unitymedia’s consistent digitalisation strategy: Starting with the acquisition of the bundesliga rights by arena, followed by the introduction of Unitymedia’s triple play offer including digital tv and most recently its “Jetzt Digital” (Go digital) initiative together with the state media authorities of NRW and Hesse.

Andreas Krautscheid, Minister for Federal Affairs, Europe and Media: “The state government applauds Unitymedia’s successful pursuit of digitalisation via broadband cable. Thus, broadband cable with digital TV and high-speed internet access is making an essential contribution towards the modern information society in NRW. Citizens are benefiting from the competition of the infrastructures through inexpensive internet as well as through digital diversity and quality.”

Prof. Dr. Norbert Schneider, Director of the LfM, the State Media Authority of NRW: “Digitalisation is one of our most important media policy tasks. We are glad that the ‘Jetzt digital’ initiative is progressing so successfully and that today North-Rhine-Westphalia along with Hesse has the best digitalisation rate in German cable.”

Prof. Wolfgang Thaenert, Director of LpR Hessen, the Regulatory Authority for Commercial Broadcasting in Hesse: “The conversion from analogue to digital transmission technology is the responsibility and business of the LPR Hessen. To this end, cable as the strongest television distribution channel is accorded special importance. The LPR Hessen supports digitalisation in a multitude of ways, for example, through the project ‘nordig – Nordhessen digital’ and by assisting Unitymedia’s public education initiative ‘Jetzt Digital’.”

Parm Sandhu, CEO of Unitymedia, announces the extention of the Jetzt Digital initiative to property owners and housing associations starting on 1 July: “Today’s milestone is a strong endorsement of our digitalisation and triple play strategy. Our ‘Jetzt Digital’ campaign launched last October has quickly resulted in almost 40% of all single households converting to digital. I am therefore pleased to announce the extension of this initiative to the housing industry through our new improved ‘Multi-Media Anschluss’ and ‘Digitaler Multi-Media Anschluss’ offers. We will continue to actively promote the trend towards digital and consistently reward our customers for making the switch.”

Television broadcasters are also promoting the digital trend in a variety of ways – including a recently launched “digital offensive” by ARD to provide more services to digital viewers or the constantly growing range of offerings from private broadcasters. Apart from that, the marketing success of flat screen televisions has driven additional demand for digital reception quality. Some 300 programmes are available on Unitymedia´s cable networks, from feature films and TV series to live Bundesliga games and documentaries from National Geographic Channel productions, Turkish feature films and various public television shows. The option of calling up movie blockbusters on a pay per view basis, all free of adverts, has also been a hit with more and more viewers.