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RTL: Five needs a partner



Channel Five's controlling shareholder, RTL, has admitted the broadcaster needs to team up with rivals such as Channel 4 or BSkyB if it is to survive in the multi-channel environment, according to a report in the Guardian newspaper. RTL CEO Gerhard Zeiler confirmed merger talks had been held with Channel 4.
Other options are being considered as the UK's smallest terrestrial channel searches for a partner to bolster its presence in the digital TV market. "In the next 18 months we will make a decision [on] which alternative we are going to take. What we need is a multi-channel strategy," Zeiler was reported as saying.

Gunter Thielen, the CEO of RTL parent group Bertelsmann, added that Five would have to link up with another broadcaster. "In the long term, Five is too small ... Channel 4 is one option, but we could also talk to BSkyB. But there are no talks at present," he said.