RTL Group Takes Full Ownership of Super RTL


RTL Group has reached a deal to buy out The Walt Disney Company’s 50 percent shareholding in Super RTL.

Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland has signed a binding agreement with Disney subsidiary BVI Television Investments, with the transaction subject to approval from German and Austrian competition authorities.

RTL Group says the transaction will help support the growth plan for its TV Now streaming service. Speaking to TV Kids last year as Super RTL marked its 25th anniversary, CEO Claude Schmit said of the relationship with TV Now: “We are already supplying a lot of their kids’ content. We have a very close cooperation with our shareholder RTL Group on the SVOD side and are now part of a much larger player than we could be as a stand-alone.”

At the TV Kids Festival last month, Schmit spoke about how Super RTL had teamed with TV Now for Ninja Warrior Germany Kids. In addition, M6 Group’s acquisition of Gulli, among other services, in France, also presents an opportunity for Super RTL, Schmit said. “Gulli is a bit like the equivalent of Super RTL in the French market. M6 belongs to the RTL Group, as we do. So we decided to talk to them and see if we can do things together. Can we produce together? Can we buy together? Can we do the merchandising business together?” Indeed, Super RTL and M6 joined forces last month to jointly commission Petronix Defenders. “We are moving away from a single Germany-only territorial approach to more of a Europeanized approach. I think that presents huge potential for the future as well,” Schmit said.

RTL Group and Disney joined forces in 1995 to launch Super RTL, with Disney providing a large chunk of the broadcaster’s content. The relationship between the companies in 2013 when Disney pulled its shows in order to launch its own branded service in Germany.