RTL plans German documentary channel

Jörn Krieger | 30-09-2013

German commercial broadcast group Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland wants to strengthen its activities in the domestic pay-TV market by launching a subscription channel with "high quality documentaries" in conjunction with German publishing house Gruner+Jahr.

The channel will be launched in the first half of 2014, CEO Anke Schäferkordt told German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung.

"We will thereby expand our channel family and continue to invest in business models that are independent of the advertising market," said Schäferkordt. The channel will be called Geo Television and take the Geo brand of Gruner+Jahr's reportage magazine of the same name to TV screens. Both RTL and Gruner+Jahr are part of German media company Bertelsmann.

No new free-to-air TV channels are currently planned, according to Schäferkord: "But we keep a very close eye on the market."