GREEN LIGHT FOR BSKYB INVESTMENT IN PREMIERE WORLD
German anti-media concentration commission Kommission zur Ermittlung der Konzentration im Medienbereich (KEK) has approved BSkyB’s investment in Premiere World. Through subsidiary BSkyB Germany, the UK-based pay-TV group will take a 24 per cent stake in Kirch Pay-TV, the company that owns 95 per cent in the Munich-based pay-TV broadcaster.
In return, Kirch Pay-TV gains a 4.3 per cent stake in BSkyB. According to KEK, BSkyB’s participation in Premiere World would further strengthen Kirch Group’s dominating position in the pay-TV business and in the related markets of access to digital television and sports and fiction TV rights. However, as pay-TV is still a niche market in Germany, Kirch Group’s overall power in the national television market wouldn’t increase substantially, the watchdogs argued.
KEK also gave a green light to the licence applications of pay-TV children’s channel Fox Kids Germany and the erotic pay-TV service planned by sex toy merchandiser and adult video firm Beate Uhse, both of which want to launch this autumn on the Premiere World platform. Also, KEK approved the nationwide transmission of regional broadcaster B.TV on an analogue Astra transponder (19.2 degrees East) which started in July and the eight digital thematic channels planned by French pay-TV group AB SAT in Germany including erotic service XXL.