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CLT-Ufa launches ‘Net arm, big plans

Euro b'caster logging on

BERLIN — In a move that emphasizes the growing significance of new media, European broadcasting giant CLT-Ufa has established an Internet and new technologies division.

With the company reaching 120 million households on a daily basis via its numerous TV broadcasters and radio stations, execs say CLT-Ufa is well equipped to develop its own Internet business.

The group is seeking to position itself as a potential partner for Internet start-ups and U.S. online providers who are looking for a footing in the European market.

CLT-Ufa has already started developing a strong Internet presence for its major subsidiaries such as RTL Television in Germany and M6 in France. The company is aiming to be the leading general interest online provider in every major European market by year’s end.

Online auctions

Subsidiaries of the Luxembourg-based CLT-Ufa have also begun investing in a variety of start-ups in such lucrative areas as online auctions, Internet shopping and ticketing services. RTL has a 33% stake in the auction outfit Andsold.de and a 42% share of Powershopping.de, while the U.K.’s Channel 5 holds 20% of Produxion.com, a business-to-business site for TV producers. M6 has a 33% stake in French ticketing service ticketnet.fr.

Johannes Zuell has been appointed to head the new division with the added titles of senior vice president and deputy member of the board.

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