High definition versions of six channels from German public service broadcaster ARD launch via satellite on December 5. Available in HD will be thematic channels EinsFestival (previously testing in HD), EinsPlus, and Tagesschau24, along with regional channels, hr, MDR and RBB.
Pan-European satellite TV broadcaster, Mediengruppe RTL is taking additional capacity on the ASTRA 19.2°E satellites to broadcast Swiss versions of its popular German-language entertainment channels in 2014. The Swiss Vox and Super RTL channels (Vox CH and Super RTL CH) already broadcast from 19.2°E and will be joined next year by RTL CH and RTL II CH.
RTL also broadcasts Austrian and the original German versions of all four channels from ASTRA 19.2°E.
New German free-to-air entertainment channel ProSieben Maxx (or 7Maxx) will launch on September 3 from the ASTRA 19.2°E satellite position with reception throughout Europe. Aimed primarily at German speaking men aged 30-59, with US primetime dramas and an in-house magazine series, the channel’s schedule also includes a BBC Earth branded block of documentaries such as Life Below Zero and Deadly 60, and an early morning Yep! block of action, superhero and adventure programming, such as Pokémon and One Piece, aimed at boys aged 6-13.
German pay-TV platform Sky Deutschland is showing every match of the new Bundesliga football season live and in high definition. In addition, viewers can watch up to six concurrent games onscreen, switching between the matches with the remote control.
Nearly 2.9 million households are now watching the German HD+ high definition satellite platform, including more than 1.2 million paying the €50 annual service fee following their 12-month free trial period.
Nearly 1 million homes in the Benelux countries receive channels from ASTRA 23.5°E, now established for six years as a DTH satellite position, according to the annual market research study "Satellite Monitor" from SES, the operator of the ASTRA satellites.
Entertainment and celebrity channel, E! is now available in high definition to viewers in Germany and Austria from the Sky Deutschland pay-TV platform. The female-skewed channel mixes locally produced shows, such as Fulminant, reporting on German events and celebrities, with international shows such as Live from the Red Carpet, Fashion Police, and The Saturdays – The Way Up.
Research by SES (operator of the ASTRA satellites) has shown that the switch-off of analogue satellite TV for Germany in April 2012 sent dish owners flocking to digital satellite TV, and there are now more German satellite viewers than ever.
Non Stop People, a new channel broadcasting as part of the French CanalSat platform, promises to apply the model of CNN to the world of celebrities and entertainment.
German pop and rock video channel, Deluxe Music has launched a high definition version as part of the HD+ platform of German HD channels on ASTRA 19.2°E. Deluxe Music HD is the 15th channel to join HD+, alongside Comedy Central HD, DMAX HD, kabel eins HD, N24 HD, Nickelodeon HD, ProSieben HD, RTL HD, RTL II HD, SUPER RTL HD, Sat.1 HD, sixx HD, SPORT1 HD, Tele 5 HD, and Vox HD.