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Court blocks plans for ProSieben and RTL’s online TV service


A German court has blocked plans by ProSiebenSat.1 and RTL to launch a catch-up TV service in the country. The commercial broadcasters had wanted to launch an online service with their own, and third-party content.


The country’s competition watchdog the Bundeskartellamt ruled last year that the ProSieben and RTL service would take too great a share of total advertising revenues. The broadcasters appealed that decision, but yesterday the Higher Regional Court of Dusseldorf also ruled against them.

ProSiebenSat.1 and RTL denied the service, dubbed Amazonas, would create a duopoly as it would have been a technical platform that was open to all broadcasters.

Meanwhile, a group of producers and distributors from the German TV and movie business are pushing ahead with Germany’s Gold, a new venture that will launch a video-on-demand service using the partners’ content. Seventeen companies are involved in the service, which will be based in Berlin, including Beta Film, ZDF, MME Moviement and Studio Hamburg.

Hulu has been tipped to launch a service in Germany. So far, its only international roll out has been in Japan. Netflix is also expanding in Europe and Lovefilm already has a service in Germany.