Plans for German Hulu competitor shot down

Germany’s ProSiebenSat.1 and RTL likely won’t be able to establish their own Hulu-like platform for watching TV show episodes soon after they air. The plan to aggregate the two broadcasters’ content on an ad-supported site was already opposed by regulators, who argued that it would dominate the market. Wednesday, a court agreed with that assessment. This could give Hulu’s plans to lanch 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. The plan was obviously inspired by, whose owners also operate many of the TV networks that supply the site with content. However, German regulators ruled last year that this would create a duopoly capable of dominating the market.
The broadcasters sued to overturn that decision – and are now likely to lose. A Dusseldorf-based court found Wednesday that the “existing duopoly would be strengthened” by a jointly-owned online video platform, according to Germany’s daily Die Welt. The court will publish its final decision in June, but after today, 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. Hulu has been looking to go to Europe for a long time, but it has been struggling to get content deals in place, according to local media reports. The almost inevitable failure to launch their own video platform could force German broadcasters to rethink their stance towards Hulu.
Image courtesy of (CC-BY-SA) Flickr user gfhdickinson.