EM.TV & Merchandising and KirchGroup have signed an agreement to form a 50/50 joint venture giving EM.TV distribution rights to KG’s collection of 20,000 half hours of children’s and family programming. Programs in the JuniorTV library, including Momo, Pippi Longstocking and Tom & Jerry, are available for German-speaking territories, and some series are also available for international distribution.
EM.TV expects a revenue of US$1 billion over the next 10 years, and the first nine months have yielded US$27.5 million. General manager of the new company, launched January 1, is EM.TV’s Florian Haffa. In addition to distribution rights, the company holds merchandising rights to all the KirchGroup programming.
Junior TV has been running as a branded channel in Kirch’s digital DF1 bouquet since August 1996, and EM.TV has announced the joint venture’s intention to launch a second pay TV channel under this label. EM.TV’s payment to Kirch of nearly US$300 million for the joint venture will be financed by loans and stock offerings. Up to 399,000 new shares will be placed via the investment banks Merrill Lynch and WestLB planmure.