Sky Deutschland set to launch free sports portal

German pay-television broadcaster Sky Deutschland has said it will launch a new free-to-access digital sports platform next year focusing on video content.

Set to commence operations in the summer of 2017, skysport.de will be freely available thanks to the support of advertising.

Describing it as the “fourth pillar” of the Sky Sports brand in Germany, Sky said the new platform will offer content from Sky Sports News HD, live streams of content not shown on television and highlights from the broadcaster’s sports portfolio.

The announcement comes after Sky in July revealed that its Sky Sports News HD channel will be made freely available to viewers from December. Sky Sports News HD launched in December 2011 as the first 24-hour sports news channel in Germany and Austria.

Under the change, it will become freely available across all platforms in the two countries and will be the first free-to-air television channel launched by Sky.

Commenting on the planned launch of skysport.de, Thomas Deissenberger, chief executive of Sky Media, said: “From a marketing perspective this is an important step for Sky. Through skysport.de we expand the spectrum of advertising opportunities for our partners and create a platform for whole new creative and integrative forms of advertising.”