German watchdogs get first look at Hulu clone

RTL, ProSiebenSat.1's online TV platform

ZURICH -- The European Commission is giving German and Austrian media watchdogs the first crack at a Hulu-style online TV platform being proposed by German broadcasters RTL and ProSiebenSat.1.

The two networks want to set up an open platform for ad-supported catch-up TV for German-speaking Europe. While RTL and ProSieben would run the site, other broadcasters, including public channels, could use it to stream their content.

The site would allow users to stream programs up to seven days after their original broadcast. Individual channels would be responsible for programming and marketing.

The German networks, which have broadcasting interests across the continent, submitted their plans to the European Commission for approval. But German and Austria authorities complained that they should have a say in investigating the new venture.

After a preliminary investigation, the Commission agreed. Competition authorities in Austria and Germany will now jointly examine the proposal to see if it would restrict competition for online TV in their national markets.