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FRANKFURT, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Cable group Liberty Global is in talks to buy a 50 percent stake in broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1’s streaming service Maxdome, German daily Handelsblatt reported on Friday, citing industry sources.
The move would be part of a global push into content by the U.S. group run by cable TV billionaire John Malone. Liberty already owns German cable operator Unitymedia KabelBW and this year bought UK-based production group All3Media and a 6.4 percent stake in British broadcaster ITV.
Liberty Global and ProsSieben declined to comment.
Maxdome is Germany’s biggest streaming service in a market, that is expected to grow and become more competitive after U.S. streaming service Netflix launched there in September.
The German market for video on demand is expected to expand to about 480 million euros ($598 million) by 2018, up from 198 million euros last year, according to data from lobby group Bundesverband Audiovisuelle Medien.
That will represent nearly a third of the total video market, which includes DVD and Blue-ray disc sales and is expected to be about 1.7 billion euros by 2018.
ProSieben said last week that it had added a third more subscribers to Maxdome in the three weeks after Netflix entered the German market, without giving further details.
Maxdome posted a 12,000 euro loss last year.
Other streaming services active on the German market are Sky’s Snap, Amazon’s Prime Instant Video and Vivendi’s Watchever. (1 US dollar = 0.8024 euro) (Reporting by Ludwig Burger and Harro ten Wolde; Editing by David Goodman)