German Networks Challenge Cartel Office Over Hulu Clone

RTL and ProSieben are pushing for joint VOD platform.

COLOGNE, Germany - Germany’s two leading commercial broadcasters have filed an objection to the recent cartel office veto of their plans to set up a Hulu-like VOD service.

RTL Television and ProSiebenSat.1 want to jointly launch an online platform where German broadcasters can offer catch-up streams of their programming. Both networks claim the service will be provider neutral and that all broadcasters, including commercial and public competitors, will be given equal access.

But in March, Germany’s media watchdogs rejected the proposal, saying the service would extend what the cartel office claims is RTL/ProSieben’s duopoly on the German free TV advertising market.

Both RTL and ProSiebenSat.1 reject the cartel office’s claims. The state superior court in Dusseldorf will now rule on the matter, with a decision expected in the coming weeks.