Disney confirms German TV acquisition

Jörn Krieger | 25-09-2012

US media company Walt Disney has confirmed the takeover of German commercial TV channel Das Vierte ('The Fourth').

The Walt Disney Company based in London has signed the contract to acquire the free-to-air channel, Disney's German office announced in Munich.

Financial details were not disclosed. The purchase is subject to approval by Germany's federal cartel office Bundeskartellamt.

According to Disney, the move will give the company plenty of options for the expansion of its TV activities in Germany. Further details will be announced at a later stage.

In Germany, Disney is already a shareholder in free-to-air channels Super RTL and RTL II and operates pay-TV channels Disney Channel, Disney XD, Disney Junior and Disney Cinemagic.

Das Vierte was previously owned by Russian media manager Dmitrij Lesnewski who acquired the channel from US media company NBC Universal in June 2008.

Through the take-over which became known yesterday, Disney will strengthen its activities in Germany's free-to-air TV market. Industry insiders speculate that the company could transform the channel into a children's and family channel under the Disney brand, a German version of Disney's sports channel ESPN or its entertainment channel ABC.