Courts strike down the 'German Hulu'
Editor | 10-08-2012
German broadcasters RTL and ProSiebenSat.1 will not be launching the joint online video destination that has been dubbed "the German Hulu."
A state supreme court in Dusseldorf upheld a ban on the launch, which was enacted in the face of antitrust concerns.
RTL and ProSiebenSat.1, as the two largest German broadcasters, have two-thirds of the advertising market in Germany. That's too much control over the medium and the message, as far as German courts are concerned.
The idea was to provide a centralised TV Everywhere-type service for all German broadcasters, including the two's rivals, that aired catch-up TV seven days after the debut broadcast. However, RTL and ProSiebenSat.1 would own and operate the network-- taking homethe lion's share of the advertising money, the courts found.
German consumers meanwhile have other options: RTL and ProSiebenSat.1 have branded online video plays, and German public broadcasters are seeking approval for a catch-up service named Gold. Meanwhile, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and other major U.S. online streamers are mulling a move into the lucrative market.