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Court blocks plans for ProSieben and RTL’s Hulu type service

A German court has blocked plans by ProSiebenSat.1 and RTL to launch a catch-up TV service. The commercial broadcasters had wanted to launch an online service with their own, and third-party content.

The country’s competition watchdog the Bundeskartellamt ruled last year that the ProSieben and RTL service would take too great a share of total advertising revenues. The broadcasters appealed that decision, but yesterday the Higher Regional Court of Dusseldorf also ruled against them.

ProSieben and RTL denied the service, dubbed Amazonas, would create a duopoly as it would have been a technical platform that was open to all broadcasters.

Hulu has been tipped to launch a service in Germany. So far, its only international roll out has been in Japan. Netflix is also expanding in Europe and LoveFilm already has a service in Germany.

Meanwhile, a group of producers and distributors from the German TV and movie business are pushing ahead with Germany’s Gold, a new venture that will launch a video-on-demand service using the partners’ content. Seventeen companies are involved in the service, which will be based in Berlin, and the firms include Beta Film, ZDF, MME Moviement and Studio Hamburg.