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Kabel Deutschland GmbH
Type GmbH
Founded 2003
Industry Telecommunications
Products Pay television
Employees 2800(2007)

Kabel Deutschland is the largest cable operators company in Germany.



Kabel Deutschland operates in 13 of the 16 states (i.e. all but Baden-Württemberg, North Rhine-Westphalia and Hesse). In 2006, of the 15.4 households passed by their cable the company served 9.6 million, however only one third of these are direct customers of Kabel Deutschland, since especially in large apartment complexes the in-house cable networks are owned by cable service companies or housing associations.[1] According to IFRS rules, in fiscal 2005 / 2006 revenues amounted to €1.012 billion, the EBITDA amounted to €401.3 million.[2]

Kabel Deutschland was founded in January 1999 by the former German telecom monopolist Deutsche Telekom in order to spin off its entire cable TV business as required by regulatory terms. The cable network was established from the mid-1980s on by the German federal post office, and successor of Deutsche Telekom, Deutsche Bundespost. Kabel Deutschland was split into nine regional companies, of which three are sold to other investors until 2002. The remaining six are sold in 2003 to the US investment firms Providence Equity Partners, Apax Partners and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners. Since February 2006, Kabel Deutschland is majority-owned by Providence Equity Partners.[3]


With a basic plan Kabel Deutschland offers about 30 free-to-air analogue TV and an equal number of FM / VHF radio channels. All analogue TV channels are available in digital DVB-C encoding, too, plus an additional 70 channels not available analogue.
On top of that, about 100 digital pay TV channels can be ordered, either as a subscription-based service or as pay-per-view. This includes Germany's pay-tv broadcasters Sky Deutschland and Arena as well as Kabel Deutschland's own offerings.

Kabel Deutschland broadcasts from Astra's 3A satellite at 23.5° east.

Furthermore, Kabel Deutschland offers Internet (Kabel Internet, up to 32 MBit/s downstream and 2000 kBit/s upstream) and telephone services (Kabel Phone).

For historic reasons, Kabel Deutschland cannot offer its products directly to all are connected via Kabel Deutschland's network, since only one third of all viewers are direct customers. In the early 1980s, when the cable network was established, Kabel Deutschland's predecessor Deutsche Bundespost had to leave in-house cables to other companies or the house owners.[4] This turned out to be a significant obstacle since Kabel Deutschland now has to make single contracts with hundreds of small cable operators.


  1. ^ Kabel Deutschland: The Cable Network
  2. ^ Kabel Deutschland: Financials
  3. ^ Kabel Deutschland: Company History
  4. ^ Kabel Deutschland: Cable TV Network History

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