Kirch victorious in frequency fight
BERLIN — After months of wrangling with media watchdogs over alleged antitrust violations, Leo Kirch’s Sat 1 TV web has won the right to stay on terrestrial frequencies in the key Nordrhein-Westfalen region of Germany.
The local media authority had given Kirch and his partner in the web, the Springer publishing group, until July 24 either to shed some of their shares in the web or face being yanked off the air in the densely populated area.
Another Kirch/Springer-backed station, DSF, faces similar antitrust problems.
Taiwan exhib strike
TAIPEI — Thousands of people in Taiwan lined up at theaters last week only to find them shut in protest of a government crackdown on some moviehouses and other entertainment establishments that allegedly don’t meet fire safety standards.
More than 500 people representing 387 theaters rallied in front of the legislature July 15 to protest the crackdown in which police closed 24 theaters.
Authorities are also cutting off utilities to theaters constructed without building permits.
RTL 5 cable fee fight
AMSTERDAM — Commercial channel RTL 5 is squaring off against Holland’s cable companies for what could be a lengthy battle over carriage fees.
The country’s cable org wants the new net — a spinoff of commercial market leader RTL 4 — to cough up about $ 2.60 per subscriber in its first year of operation.
In years to follow, per-subscriber increases will depend on the success of the channel.
The fees could come down to around 25 cents per subscriber.
The first-year fee represents some 20 times what RTL 4 pays.
MacLeod to Time-Life
Former Granada TV exec Bernard MacLeod has joined Time-Life Television as vice president, co-production and international development, effective Aug. 9. MacLeod will eventually be based in Time-Life’s London offices.
More dough for Duna
BUDAPEST — The Hungarian government will inject some $ 28 million into Duna-TV, a Hungarian satellite channel beamed throughout central Europe. The boost is in sharp contrast to budget cuts for Hungarian state TV and public radio, the backbone of the country’s electronic media.
Duna’s new-found wealth comes on the heels of a high-level exec shuffle that could signal improved programming quality for the station.