The German Federal Cartel Office has approved the plans of media groups ProSiebenSat.1 and Discovery Communications to expand their joint OTT platform 7TV by integrating their streaming services maxdome and Eurosport Player.
Following the extension planned for the first half of 2019 maxdome and Eurosport Player will no longer be offered individually. At the same time, the platform, which has hitherto been free of charge and financed by advertising, will partially become subscription-based.
It is not expected that the joint venture will gain a dominant market position through the additional business area, the Cartel Office justified its approval.
“Maxdome has a large and well-known video offer and the Eurosport Player has also gained popularity with the Bundesliga games. However, the market for paid video-on-demand continues to be a rapidly expanding market and has strong competitors such as Amazon, Netflix, iTunes and Sky as well as the public broadcasters’ offers,” Andreas Mundt, president of the Cartel Office, said in Bonn.
However, if ARD, ZDF and RTL accept ProSiebenSat.1 and Discovery’s offer to join their OTT platform, the competition authority would again deal with the case, as the parties have notified the Cartel Office only of the extension to include their own activities maxdome and Eurosport Player. The merger review and approval is thus limited to this scenario.
If further content or cooperation partners are to be included, a new review is required, taking into account the current market situation and the concrete form of the cooperation, stressed the Cartel Office.
With their move, ProSiebenSat.1 and Discovery aim to create a central streaming platform of German TV broadcasters modelled on US portal Hulu.