German-language TV channel launched in US

22nd February 2005, Comments 0 comments

23 February 2005, MUNICH - The ProSieben Sat.1 Group on Tuesday launched a German-language TV channel in the United States via Echostar Communication's DISH Network, targeted at an estimated one million German speakers. The announcement from its Munich headquarters coincided with an annual report release, which said that Germany's largest television corporation had posted a record EUR 217.5 million in pre-tax income, a rise of 70 percent. ProSiebenSat.1 Welt (world) will be a general interest broadcaster w

23 February 2005

MUNICH - The ProSieben Sat.1 Group on Tuesday launched a German-language TV channel in the United States via Echostar Communication's DISH Network, targeted at an estimated one million German speakers.

The announcement from its Munich headquarters coincided with an annual report release, which said that Germany's largest television corporation had posted a record EUR 217.5 million in pre-tax income, a rise of 70 percent.

ProSiebenSat.1 Welt (world) will be a general interest broadcaster with a mixed bag of the best programmes from the group's four channels, Sat.1, Pro-Sieben, Kabel 1 and N 24. The selections will include in-house TV movies, series, sitcoms, magazine formats and shows produced by the group.

Welt will also air in-house productions including its "Made-by-ProSieben" TV movies. The box office blockbuster "Manitu's Shoe" (over 11 million visitors) will be screened during 2005 as well as an array of entertainment shows and current events programmes.

The channel will also screen popular comedy highlights such as the satirical "TV Total" and "Die Dreisten Drei" (The Thrashing Three).

Welt will also air two games live from Germany's first division football league every week. While the group will have to pay a sum at the going rate to acquire the rights of the league, it will need to fork out very little for the rights to the rest of the programming, keeping start-up costs relatively low.

The subscriber fee was put at USD 14.99 plus a service charge. The channel will also air advertising to provide its clients with the chance to reach the German-speaking community in the United States.

The business plan calls for the new channel to attain the break- even point in 2007.

Programming will be transmitted via fibre-optic cable to Cheyenne, Wyoming, DISH Network's uplink centre. DISH reaches more than 11 million satellite TV customers through its network, which reportedly has been the fastest growing US provider of advanced digital services over the last four years.

ProSiebenSat.1 Welt will broadcast around-the-clock, and will air at least eight hours of original programmes at the start. Special news programmes will be updated twice daily at the N24 studio in Berlin, tailored specifically for an American audience.

The channel will be marketed in the United States by Seven One Media in New York, the group's foreign representative.

Hans Fink, 37, and Jan Frouman, 33, are managing co-directors. Broadcast planning and engineering for the channel will be carried out at company headquarters in Unterfoehring near Munich.

The idea of exporting a German TV product was not new. Channel D, a private channel, was forced to file insolvency proceedings. Germany's public networks ARD and ZDF and Deutscher Welle (the Voice of Germany) have since 8 April 2002 been broadcasting a public pay-TV channel between New York and San Francisco. 

DPA

Subject: German news 

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