TS News - RTL Fined For Too Many Commercials

TELE-satellit News, 23 August 1996

RTL Fined For Too Many Commercials
  HANOVER, Germany, 96/08/23 (Sat-ND) -- Germany's most successful
commercial channel, RTL Television, Thursday was fined DM20 million ($13.5
million) by a district court in Hanover. The channel was found guilty of
inserting too many commercial breaks in a total of 34 movies.

  German media law allows two breaks in a movie, while serials may be
interrupted four times. RTL had shown the movies under the common subject
"Der große TV-Roman" ("The big TV novel",) claiming they would constitute a

  The court said RTL deliberately violated the law, cashing in DM20 million
of additional revenues. They have to be paid back to the treasury of Lower
Saxony where the RTL broadcast license was granted more than ten years ago.
RTL has already announced it will appeal. The station claims it had no extra
revenue because the maximum time for commercials allowed by law, 12 minutes
per hour, was at no time exceeded. RTL manager Helmut Thoma said that the
station just had aired four short breaks instead of two long ones.

(c)TELE-satellit 1996. All rights reserved.

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