Advanced Television

Court bans ‘German Hulu’

April 19, 2012

Germany’s ProSiebenSat.1 and RTL have suffered a further blow to plans to launch their own Hulu-like platform for watching TV shows soon after they air. The plan to aggregate their content on an ad-supported site was already opposed by regulators, on grounds of market dominance and now a German court has agreed with that assessment. This could give Hulu’s plans to launch in Germany a boost.

ProSiebenSat.1 and RTL had planned to open a platform that would aggregate the content of their popular TV networks, but also be open to content from third parties. However, German regulators ruled last year that this would create a duopoly capable of dominating the market.

The broadcasters sued to overturn that decision but a Dusseldorf court found that the “existing duopoly would be strengthened” by a jointly-owned online video platform. The court will publish its final decision in June, but now it’s all but certain that the site won’t see the light of day.

That’s good news for Hulu, which has reportedly been talking to local TV networks to license their content for a German version of its site.

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