ProSieben presents pay platforms

Movie and comedy channels will launch June 1

CANNES — ProSiebenSat 1 unveiled its new pay TV webs Wednesday at Mip TV.

Movie channel Kabel Eins Classics and Sat 1 Comedy will launch June 1 in Germany on the platforms of cablers Kabel Deutschland, Kabel Baden-Wurttemberg and Unity Media.

ProSiebenSat 1 has been eagerly seeking alternative revenue streams in view of stagnating ad revenues; move is seen as the first step in a new strategic direction.

The webs could end up riding a digital subscription wave following the planned launch of the new 24-hour Arena digital sports channel later this year. Arena, a Unity Media subsidiary, holds pay TV rights for the next three seasons of top league Bundesliga soccer and plans to showcase the matches on the new web.

The cablers currently reach more than 400,000 digital subscribers, but that number is sure to increase rapidly following Arena’s launch.

ProSiebenSat 1 is looking to boost non-ad revenue from 11% in 2005 to 15% in 2007.

Kabel Eins Classics will air Hollywood and European movies from the 1930s through the ’90s. Sat 1 Comedy will carry series, talkshows and comedy sketch skeins from the ProSiebenSat 1 library, as well as new shows that will premiere on the web, including “Hope & Faith” and original-version English-language series like “The Office.” Web plans eventually to produce some of its own material.

Cablers will include the channels as part of their basic pay packages. ProSiebenSat 1 has broadcast licenses for four pay TV channels and plans to launch a third if the first two are successful.

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