KIRCH TO TURN TM3 INTO MUSIC AND COMEDY CHANNEL
Kirch Group intends to turn the women-focused entertainment channel TM3 into a music and comedy channel for young viewers early next year, probably under the new name Sun TV. According to industry speculation, Leo Kirch and Rupert Murdoch, currently the Munich-based channel’s 100 per cent shareholder, have already in principle agreed that Kirch’s media company will take over TM3. However, approval from the media authorities is still needed and the media watchdogs have already hinted that they’ll thoroughly investigate the transaction as it could lead to an increase of the total audience market share of Kirch-owned channels, making it close to the permitted level of 30 per cent.
It is expected that Kirch Group will integrate TM3, which under earlier plans should have been turned into an Internet-style multimedia TV channel into its TV family together with Pro Sieben, SAT.1, Kabel 1 and N24. However, it seems that a final decision has still to be made. A Kirch spokesman denied that an agreement with Murdoch has already been signed, but he confirmed that Kirch Group is interested in TM3, provided that Murdoch is prepared to sell it.