Sky Germany is accused of hiking figures

 
Steve Dinneen
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SKY Deutschland, the German pay-TV firm which is 49.9 per cent owned by News Corp, faces censure after being accused of overstating its subscriber numbers and earnings.

German media watchdog BaFin says the firm added 600,000 to its 3.6m subscribers in its official reports in 2007 and 2008.

The broadcaster has already been caught inflating its figures, admitting in 2008 it had almost doubled its true number of subscribers.

Sky Deutschland also overstated its earnings by at least €10m (£8.5m) in 2008. The firm insists the BaFin ruling will not affect the operation of the company.

Meanwhile chief executive Brian Sullivan said yesterday the embattled firm will not turn a profit in the near future. He said: “We still make a huge loss and we have a long way to go to turn the business into the profit engine it can be.”

Sky Deutschland, which owns rights to show German Bundesliga matches, has only once made a profit, five years ago.

Its share price has dropped from €14 three years ago to an historic low of less than €1. However, sales are rising since Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp bought into the firm in 2009. Its losses have also narrowed.