British media group buys German channel

Spirit on Media acquires free-to-air net Das Vierte

COLOGNE, Germany -- British media group Spirit On Media has bought German free-to-air channel Das Vierte from Mini Movie International Channel for an undisclosed sum.

Das Vierte, which now reaches some 34 million households in Germany, was launched by NBC Universal in 2005. Mini Movie, a Luxembourg-based subsidiary belonging to Russian media mogul Dmitri Lesnevski, bought the network in 2008.

Spirit On acquired full control of the German net through its Munich-based subsidiary Phoenix Media. It is forecasting a €30 million ($37 million) turnover for the channel this year.

Spirit On, which is active on digital satellite and IPTV services in Britain, is aggressively expanding into Germany. Earlier this year the company signed a letter of intent with German rights and distribution group VCL Film + Media to cooperate with VCL as it restructures its business.
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