Bavarian media authority BLM has granted AETN UK Germany the permission to operate 14 international thematic TV channels.
The channels were previously licenced by UK-based media authority Ofcom and the new applications are related to the UK’s expected withdrawal from the European Union (Brexit).
The channels are pay-TV services targeting countries outside Germany: Crime & Investigation EU, CI Netherlands, CI Polsat, H2 EU, H2 Poland, History EU, History Belgium, History Croatia, History Hungary, History Netherlands, History Poland, History Romania, History Sweden and Lifetime Poland.
11 of the channels are only distributed in EU member states (Netherlands, Poland, Belgium, Croatia, Hungary, Romania, Sweden) while Crime & Investigation EU, H2 EU and History EU are also offered in further countries such as Egypt, Algeria, Bahrain, Jordan, Kosovo, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Turkey.
“The new licences in connection with Brexit further strengthen Bavaria as a media location while for the companies they provide legal security,” BLM president Siegfried Schneider said in Munich. As Ofcom licences won’t be suitable any longer for distribution in other EU countries following Brexit, AETN UK Germany has applied for new licences at BLM.
Despite the channels not being broadcast in Germany, the Bavarian media authority is responsible. AETN UK Germany has its registered location in Munich. Also, the editorial decisions are made in the Bavarian capital, according to BLM. An EU managing editor is to be hired, local channel History Germany will also provide support with resources and services.
To prevent being licenced twice, on one hand, and a period with no licence at all, on the other hand, BLM will grant the permission only after the Ofcom licences have been handed back. Another condition is the appointment of an EU managing editor in Munich.
Turner Broadcasting System, NBC Universal and Discovery have already secured German broadcast licences from BLM for their international channels. Sports streaming service DAZN received a licence from Berlin-based media authority MABB.