World Briefs

GERMANY

The head of regional pubcaster NDR has called for the creation of a worldwide European broadcaster in cooperation with France’s TV5 and the BBC.

Jobst Plog, managing director of NDR, described his plan as an alternative to financially troubled German foreign channel Deutsche Welle.

Deutsche Welle has been trying to get pubcasters ARD and ZDF to produce programming for it in an effort to save about $11 million a year. The foreign channel has seen a large portion of its budget cut by the government.

CLT-UFA’s dream of a fully owned family of German TV broadcasters has been dashed after negotiations to buy Disney’s stakes in RTL 2 and Super RTL failed.

Luxembourg-based CLT-UFA had been trying to acquire Disney’s 50% stake in tyke channel Super RTL and its 15.75% share of RTL 2. The deal would have left the Bertelsmann subsidiary in complete control of an RTL chain of broadcasters.

VCL Film + Medien has acquired all video and DVD rights to 90 film titles from Helkon Media.

The deal means VCL now controls sales rights in Europe’s German-speaking territories for the next 12 years. Included among the titles are current Hollywood pics as well as classics and made-for-TV productions.

VCL is expecting revenues of up to DM 30 million ($16.3 million) from its new stock. Helkon, a subsidiary of the Endemol Group, is set to go public in the fall.

SWITZERLAND

Although rivals in Germany, commercial broadcasters RTL and Pro7 have joined forces in their invasion of the Alps with co-produced local programming for German-speaking Swiss viewers.

Having begun on Monday, the broadcasters will air 100 minutes a day from 6-7:45 p.m., Monday through Friday. Programming consists of news, magazine shows, talk and weather. The programming window is received in 1.7 million households and 82% of German-speaking homes in Switzerland.

RTL and Pro7 were granted a broadcasting license by the Swiss government in March.

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