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Germans see glut of smut

A telltale sign of how slowly the broadcast markets are moving in Germany is the fact that renegade porn channels, beaming in their hot signals from beyond the borders, are booming. In fact, erotic pay TV is steaming ahead while mainstream niche broadcasters wait for licenses and dream of distribution. Meanwhile, porno videos account for more than a third of rental revenue in Germany.

In all, the combined erotic industry generates DM2.5 billion ($1.75 billion) in revenues a year in Germany, according to Uwe Fischer, a Munich-based porno TV operator.

Foreign satcasters with names like TV Erotica, TV Eurotica and the more mundane TV 1000 are broadcasting encoded pornos from bases in Scandinavia and elsewhere in Europe to a growing audience in Germany. Fischer plans to launch Channel 6 through a Danish uplink in October and says his group is looking for 100 customers.

Meanwhile, Germany’s only pay TV channel, Premiere, has failed to pull in a million customers after five years, and the popular dream of a multichannel pay package is currently mired by regulatory and tech delays.

The spurt of investment in the dubious side of filmed entertainment is a good measure of how hohum the cable market has become.

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