Teuton TV opens up at Telemesse

New skein unveiled as attendees hope ad prices rise

COLOGNE — German webs are betting on established programs in the upcoming season at Telemesse, Germany’s upfront trade show, hoping that the long slump in ad prices is coming to a halt.

Broadcasters unveiled their fall schedules to advertisers on Wednesday and Thursday at the Cologne confab, which reported a slight increase in attendance at 5,600 registered visitors.

The timing of the fair has been moved forward by three weeks so it precedes the official announcement of new ad prices in August. “This year, it’s Telemesse where new programs really have their premiere, not at individual screenings prior to price announcements,” commented Peter Christmann, head of broadcasting group ProSiebenSat 1’s media agency, SevenOneMedia.

However, commercial broadcaster RTL II announced that it would leave IP Deutschland, agency for RTL Groups’ associated German webs and co-organizer of Telemesse, and go for a roadshow of its own next year.

Delegates are quietly confident that ad prices will rise. ” For 2004, we are hoping for a gentle increase by 5% to 10%,” said Hans-Joachim Strauch, ad chief of pubcaster ZDF.

Pubcaster ARD announced price cuts for the fall, but is expected to cash in on the national soccer.

Channel Sat 1 has already announced that it will charge $72,000 for 30-second ads during the Champions’ League European soccer tourney, which it recently secured.

Other than that, the web will stick to its traditional schedule dominated by in-house serials. It has expanded the slots of successful late night talker Harald Schmidt.

Its stablemate ProSieben will give more time to comedian Michael Bully Herbig, (creator of boffo pic “Manitou’s Shoe”), and after three years has returned to serial production for a sitcom. It still relies heavily on apart from its usual primetime U.S. fare.

In September, it will air “Scrubs” and “Without a Trace” as well as a new season of “ER.”

Market leader RTL TV is going with another season of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” and “Deutschland sucht den Superstar” (Pop Idol), augmented by self-produced event action movies and new drama series “Verschollen.”