TS News - RTL Drops Multichannel Front

TELE-satellit News, 12 November 1996

RTL Drops Multichannel Front
  COLOGNE, Germany, 96/11/12 (SatND) -- Officially, Germany's most
successful commercial TV station has no connections with channels such as
RTL 2 and Super RTL. The masquerade was necessary to comply with the German
media law that restricted TV ownership to one "full service" channel per

  This regulation is widely expected to be succeeded by a quota system.
Companies will be allowed to hold any number of TV channels they want as
long as the do not reach a combined market share of 30 percent.

  The pending legislation has prompted SAT.1 to announce its own recycling
channel SAT.2. RTL, however, may go one step further by setting up a holding
company for all its TV channels. A report that appeared today in news
magazine "Der Spiegel" so far wasn't denied by any of the parties involved.

  An RTL spokesman said it was up to the channels' shareholders to decide
upon a common holding company. He left it no doubt that he considered such a
move beneficial because it would allow for a better exploitation of
broadcast rights.

  According to "Der Spiegel", the new company will include RTL, RTL 2 and
Super RTL. CLT/Ufa are expected to hold a 75 percent share, while German
publishing houses WAZ and Bauer will hold almost ten percent each. Walt
Disney Co, 50-percent shareholder of Super RTL, will take over five percent.

  It is still unclear whether TV channel Vox will be part of the holding. It
may depend on other factors as Vox' major shareholder Rupert Murdoch still
does not seem to have found his place in the German TV circus. His News
Corp. has announced to take over 50 percent of Leo Kirch's fledgling digital
TV service DF1 but still hasn't done so. Recent rumours suggest he's also
talking to CLT/Ufa again.

  By: Peter Klanowski
  Source: SatND

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

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