For the first time since airing in 1991, Germany’s pay-TV company Premiere is in the black. In the third quarter Premiere reported pre-tax earnings of €16 million ($18.7 million), far exceeding the company’s expectations. According to CEO Georg Kofler, the positive outcome was the result of increased subscriptions and better cost management. Although the overall situation for 2003 still puts the formerly owned Kirch media company in the hole with an operating loss of some €30 million ($40 million), Kofler expects it to begin turning a sustainable profit starting in 2004. He cites continuing growth in subscriptions as digital television receives a boost and the digital receiver increasingly becomes a fixed item in the household. There are currently 2.7 million Premiere subscribers and approximately a million more households which illegally receive pay-TV programming.