Kinowelt licensed for movie web

Film group decides to try again with TV

COLOGNE — German film group Kinowelt has received a broadcasting license for a new cable and satellite movie channel.

The producer-distributor appears to be resuming earlier plans for entering TV, a move it briefly pondered four years ago but abandoned before its bankruptcy in 2001.

The web, which is still in the planning stages, would be fed from the reorganized Kinowelt’s film library and also feature self-produced documentaries about film as well as interactive formats.

Kinowelt Television, the web’s recently formed holding company, is equally owned by the Kinowelt-associated holding MK Medien Beteiligungs and Achim Apell, a former exec at local production shingle Taunus TV who is expected to manage the new web.

The broadcasting license was issued by the regional media watchdog in the state of Hesse, the LPR Hessen, but still needs to be approved by the regulatory Commission on Concentration in the Media (KEK).

Kinowelt, which was resurrected by its former owners Rainer and Michael Koelmel last year after they bought back the assets of their bankrupt company, is steadily recovering thanks to increased business from its home entertainment division.

Kinowelt declined to offer detailed plans for the web but a spokesman did say the commercial web was due to launch on cable and satellite in 2005, generating revenue from both advertising and call-in fees.

LPR Hessen also greenlit a license for a new Turkish-language channel on German cable and satellite to be called TGRT Europe.

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