KirchMedia and ProSiebenSat.1 to wed
KirchMedia, the licensing and broadcast arm of German media giant KirchGroup, has announced tentative plans to merge with Germany’s largest commercial broadcasting group, ProSeibenSat.1. Pending government approval, the merged entity would become a film and TV distribution and broadcasting powerhouse with annual revenues estimated at US$3.2 billion.
The new company (to be called KirchMedia) will assume control of four free-TV channels, including SAT.1, ProSieben, N24 and Kabel 1. As well, KirchMedia will inherit ProSiebenSAT.1′s licensing and merchandising arm MM Merchandising München. While both company boards have already OK’d the merger, final government approval isn’t expected until next June. KirchMedia currently holds a 52.52% stake in ProSiebenSat.1.
Hollywood reacts to terrorist tragedy
In the wake of last month’s terrorist assault, U.S. studios were quick to reassess the content of their upcoming films. Out of respect to the victims of the attacks, Sony Pictures pulled a trailer for Spider-Man from theaters. The preview clip featured a helicopter trapped in a giant web strewn between the two World Trade Center towers. The studio created the trailer to air exclusively on the Internet and in cinemas, and it was never intended to appear in the Spider-Man movie that’s due out May 3. Additionally, Disney-owned Touchstone Pictures postponed the September 21 release of Big Trouble, since one of the scenes in the film features a bomb on a plane.