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March 7, 1994

BERTELSMANN, CANAL PLUS IN MULTIMEDIA ALLIANCE

By CBR Staff Writer

Despite being more linguistically incompatible with each other than either is with English, French and German communications and media companies feel much more at home working with each other than they do with Anglo-Saxons, and Germany’s Bertelsmann AG and France’s Canal Plus private television network are to form a strategic alliance to co-ordinate international expansion in emerging television markets. We are arming ourselves in the face of the mega-mergers in the Anglo-American markets Bertelsmann told Reuters. The two have a letter of intent to set up a 50-50 joint venture this summer to co-ordinate their international pay television activities, but the base for the new company has not yet been chosen. Bertelsmann and Canal Plus are already involved in Germany’s only pay television service, Premiere, with Bavarian media magnate Leo Kirch. Bertelsmann is already in bed with Deutsche Bundespost Telekom and Kirch on that pay television services joint venture. The new venture will compete for internati onal licences for pay tele vision, pay-per-view, and video-on-demand services.

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