Euro country network gains backer

The outfit that hopes to launch Europe’s first country musicvideo channel, Nashville Europe Now, has announced its first shareholder: one of Germany’s favorite and most successful gameshow hosts, Wim Thoelke.

According to NEN’s John Garman, Thoelke’s support of the station-in-the-making consists of a “verbal” promise to invest an undisclosed sum, plus consulting aid.

Since no other investor has committed to the channel, Thoelke’s involvement may be the break Garman needs to pull in real money. Although he hopes to go on the air in September, NEN’s financing is not firm enough to apply for a broadcasting license.

Thoelke is known in Germany for the hit gameshow “Der Grosse Preis” and he is a favorite for the age group NEN is aiming for: 40-somethings and above.

Planning to start out on Euro-wide satellite then go to cable, NEN hopes to be an MTV for country music and “European pop” of an older style.

According to Garman, Taunus Film in Wiesbaden as already promised broadcasting facilities and material is to be had from the German branches of Sony, Warner, EMI and BMG. Advertisers already interested include Black & Decker.