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By | February 14, 2001

      RTL Television, Germany’s leading commercial broadcaster, has confirmed that it will launch a 24-hour teleshopping network on March 1. To target the country’s large analogue DTH market, RTL Shop will use transponder 3 (11.244GHz H) on the Astra satellite system (19.2 degrees East), which was vacated by UK-based entertainment channel Granada Plus on January 31.

      Cable carriage is envisaged as well, however as analogue capacity is scarce in Germany, RTL Shop will remain DTH-exclusive for the time being. To gain access to a broader audience, RTL Shop will be available from this week as a programme window on RTL’s main channel each weekday morning from 08.05 to 09.00 CET.

      A similar window will launch on VOX (from April 1 each Sunday from 08.00 to 09.30 CET) and on RTL II (from March 5 each weekday from 07.30 to 08.00 CET). RTL Shop is owned in majority by RTL Television (55 per cent) with further shares held by RTL Newmedia (25 per cent) and M6 France (20 per cent). According to RTL, the channel in which DM 65 million (E33m) will be invested, is expected to reach break even in three years. The offered items range from fitness equipment, cosmetics and jewelry to electronic devices, computer games and holiday & travel arrangements.

      RTL Shop’s TV programmes will be accompanied by an Internet and teletext service. The channel is headed by Heinz Scheve, the former director of RTL’s human resources department. A continuously repeated programme trailer has been available on transponder 3 (11.244GHz H) since the past weekend. According to RTL spokeswoman Irene Breil, RTL Shop will initially only broadcast in analogue on Astra.

      However, Interspace believes that the channel will soon become available to digital homes as well since RTL plans to combine RTL Shop with the interactive services and e- commerce activities currently created by its subsidiary RTL Newmedia.

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