Germany's third-largest cable operator Primacom is launching a digital pay-TV platform in May. The yet-to-be-named service will offer more than 80 channels, pay-per-view, internet and other services.

Primacom currently serves almost 1.4 million households, mainly in the former East Germany, and claims just under 1 million active subscribers. The digital service will be rolled out to 600,000 customers by 2001. Among the programme deals already signed, according to marketing director Nakul Dewan, are those with Viacom for a package of four music channels (MTV Base, MTV Extra, VH1, VH1 Classic) and France's MCM International and AB Group and UPCtv.

Among the PPV services will be films-on-demand, which viewers will be able to access through a remote. Primacom marketing communications manager Clemens Kruger said that unlike rival service Premiere World, viewers would not have to phone to order movies. 'Primacom will offer a new, open, system (developed by Galaxis) at a very low price, which will make its money by selling services, not renting decoders,' Kruger said.