TS News - Multi Thematiques Announces German Package

TELE-satellit News, 26 November 1996

Multi Thematiques Announces German Package
  PARIS, France, 96/11/26 (TS) -- Multi Thematiques (mTh), a digital TV
venture set up by France's Canal+, Générale des Eaux and TCI International,
a unit of U.S. cable giant TCI, will launch its long-awaited German
six-channel package in March 1997. The company has announced it will use
Leo Kirch's DF1 as distribution platform.

  This comes as no surprise as there currently is no other platform they
could use in Germany. However, observers noted the alliance between Canal+
and Leo Kirch might also bring Germany's one and only analogue pay-TV
channel back on track. Its shareholders Bertelsmann, Kirch and Canal+ are
involved in several judicial battles over the channel's digital future.

  The agreement is also good news for Leo Kirch whose DF1 won't be able to
offer a full range of channels on cable networks owing to capacity
bottlenecks. mTh, on the other hand, was granted a separate nation-wide
channel for its bouquet.

  mTh, which mainly offers localised versions of niche channels developed
Canal+'s Canalsatellite bouquet, will also launch four channels for the
Italian market in January, probably just as soon as Hot Bird 2 at 13
degrees East becomes operational.

  They will probably be part of the Telepiu package where Leo Kirch holds a
45 percent stake. In addition, mTh has clinched a deal with some Polish
cable networks to have its "Planet" channel distributed to some 150,000
Martyn Williams                |  Newsbytes News Network
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