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Club RTL clubs congloms

BERLIN – Media giant Bertelsmann’s film and TV unit UFA and Luxembourg broadcaster CLT lost around $161 million (250 million marks) on their canceled Club RTL digital TV web, a source at Bertelsmann told news agency Reuters on Thursday.

A spokesman for UFA declined to comment.

In September, UFA and CLT dropped plans to launch the Club RTL digital channel bouquet, due to a lack of programming. They were beaten out by competitor Leo Kirch, who clinched pay TV output deals with most of the Hollywood majors for his DF1 digital web. DF1 went on the air in July, and now has 20,000 subscribers.

A spokesman for Bertelsmann confirmed figures released by newsweekly Der Spiegel detailing projected profits of CLT-UFA, which will merge in January. The new company expects profits of $32 million to $65 million on revenues of $3.2 billion in 1997. By 2001, CLT-UFA hopes to have profits of $387 million on turnover of $3.87.

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