German mini-major Kinowelt is considering joining forces with the on-line arm of weekly magazine Der Spiegel and Alexander Kluge's Development Company for TV Programmes (DCTP) to set up an ad-financed TV channel, tentatively named IDE, in Berlin from next spring.

According to the marketing weekly magazine w&v, the station, which intends to become "the third force in private television" to compete with the two camps of broadcasting interests controlled by Kirch and Bertelsmann, would initially be fed into the capital's 1.4 million cable households and later be transmitted nationwide via a digital platform.

The upmarket target audience is described as being "metropolis-minded and feeling viewers who are interested in culture, business and politics".

While Der Spiegel's TV production arm, Spiegel TV, would produce a city magazine and internet guide, Kinowelt is expected to take films from its extensive back catalogue to air in the evening primetime slot from 20.15, w&v reported.

Subject to the local media watchdog MABB granting them a broadcast licence at its next sitting in mid-January, the three partners do not expect to go on air until April 2001 and envisage investing between $6.6m-$8.8m (DM15m-DM20m) in the project each year.

Kinowelt has been planning to enter the broadcasting business for some time, although it said it had ruled out launching an analogue channel in October this year. However, the company also said that decision will not affect Kinowelt's 10% stake in satellite channel B.TV Television - for which it plans to develop programming - or its future involvement in digital TV. Kinowelt has also recently struck film supply deals with German music channel Onyx Television and NBC Europe.