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Big Plus at German web RTL

BERLIN – Germany’s top-rated commercial TV station RTL announced Friday that it will launch new channel RTL Plus in the spring.

RTL Plus will be wholly owned and operated by RTL, and will draw its content largely from RTL programming stores. Time-delayed broadcasts from RTL also may be featured on the new weblet.

“The purpose of the channel will be to broadcast repeats and to make use of material owned by RTL that doesn’t meet RTL’s standards, but is good enough to be shown on a smaller channel,” RTL’s Richard Mahkorn told Daily Variety.

RTL Plus will join the RTL family of broadcasters, which currently includes RTL and weblets Super RTL and RTL2. Cooperation in program planning and acquisition among these webs will increase starting next year with the establishment of a holding company. Media group Bertelsmann’s film and TV unit UFA and Luxembourg-based CLT, which will merge in January, hold the principal shares in RTL.

While RTL2 and Super RTL are owned in part by CLT, they are not controlled by the larger web. Disney has a 50% stake in Super RTL, while TeleMuenchen and publishing house Bauer hold the majority of RTL2.

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