N24 news net sale denied

Exec insists money-losing web will break even in 2005

BERLIN — Execs at Haim Saban’s ProSiebenSat 1 have denied rumors that it will sell 24-hour news channel N24.

Speculation that the group, which owns five channels, would sell the money-losing N24 heated up after Saban acquired it last year.

N24’s managing director Torsten Rossmann made it clear Wednesday that ProSiebenSat 1 didn’t want to sell the web or find investment partners.

He said the web would break even in 2005. N24 posted a pre-tax loss of E24 million ($29.7 million) in 2002.

Among 14- to 49-year-old viewers, Rossmann said N24 held a 0.5% market share in 2003, just 0.1% behind rival N-TV, owned by RTL and Time Warner.

In related news, Teutonic license trader EM.TV will take ProSiebenSat 1 to court unless the two parties find common ground on the price of TV content.

ProSiebenSat 1, one of EM.TV’s biggest clients, is demanding a cut in programming prices, according to EM.TV topper Werner Klatten.

The chief exec also confirmed that EM.TV was close to a deal to buy out the Junior TV children’s program catalog from the insolvent Kirch Media.

The kidvid library, which the pair launched as a joint venture in 2000, has been low on the list of priorities for Kirch Media’s insolvency administrators; otherwise, EM.TV would have taken over Junior TV months ago, Klatten added.

EM.TV is restructuring to sidestep a $580 million convertible bond due next year. The scheme calls for EM.TV creditors to forgive the outstanding payment if 97.5% of bondholders agree to assume a 60% share in the group. The deadline for bondholders to vote on the deal is today.

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Scene News from Variety