Fourth German thematic channel insolvent
Written by Jörn Krieger

The economic crisis has taken another scalp: German thematic channel Tier.TV (Animal.TV) has filed for insolvency, marking the fourth digital channel after e.clips, XXHome and TIMM that has gone down this path in recent weeks.

Managing director Carl Claussen confirmed the move to industry newsletter Horizont, but stressed that the channel wants to get out of the insolvency proceedings after successful restructuring through new investors.

“For us, the temporary insolvency is just a transition period which is destined to help us continuing the healthy parts of the company. We are currently negotiating with investors from which we expect fresh capital to secure the future of the channel. This is done in collaboration with our preliminary insolvency administrator,” explained Claussen. He added that digital television was going through tough times in Germany at the moment, but that the channel’s expanded website has proven to be very popular.

Last year, the first signs of financial problems at Tier.TV already appeared: In February 2009, the free-to-air channel announced it would make several employees redundant because of the decline in advertising income provoked by the economic crisis. Since May 2009, Tier.TV can only be received on the internet as cable and satellite transmissions were terminated to save costs. And subsequently-announced plans to return to cable and satellite platforms as a pay-TV service did not happen.

With advisory, service and entertainment programmes focusing on pets, domestic animals and native wildlife, Tier.TV targets viewers who love, own and protect animals. The channel, which launched in June 2007, is backed by Berlin-based media company United Screen Entertainment.