Telefónica Germany will cease marketing its IPTV platform Alice TV at the end of March 2012. The decision was made "due to changes in the customer needs and market environment in this segment," Telefónica spokesman Albert Fetsch told Rapid TV News.
The trend would be towards interactive services which can be used everywhere and on any reception device, Fetsch explained. He added that offerings which can't be accessed at the individually desired period of time would be increasingly less in demand.
There will be no changes for existing customers of Alice TV, according to Fetsch. They would be able to continue using the service.
Preparations are already underway for a successor. "We are working on a new offering which will enable us to provide music, games and video services to our customers in a clever way and, most importantly, on all devices," said Fetsch. But it would be "too early" to provide further details at this stage.
Alice TV, which contains free-to-air channels, pay-TV packages, a video-on-demand service and an HD receiver, launched as Germany's first IPTV platform in May 2006. Following the acquisition of operating company HanseNet from Telecom Italia in November 2009, Telefónica continued to offer the platform to its ADSL customers.
Despite having the advantage of being the first player in Germany's IPTV market, Alice TV's customer numbers remained below the subscriber figures of its competitors and also didn't show much growth lately. Market leader Deutsche Telekom had 1.6 million IPTV customers at the end of 2011 while Vodafone TV reached around 100,000 households. Alice TV had 83,000 customers at the end of 2011 - only 6,000 more than at the end of 2010 (77,000 customers).