Aggressive German media group Kinowelt is considering taking over Rupert Murdoch's 66% stake in Munich-based channel TM3 as a means of gaining access to a broadcast outlet according to German press reports.

Berlin daily newspaper Der Tagesspiegel quoted Kinowelt CFO Eduard Unzeitig as saying that "an entry in TM3 would be more convenient than setting up one's own channel". Unzeitug added that "in accordance with our philosophy, we always aim for a majority participation".

However, a Kinowelt spokeswoman reacted to the speculation in media magazine epd medien by saying that "all possibilities of access" are currently being explored. At the same time, TM3's founder and 33% shareholder Herbert Kloiber is known to have been talking with Swedish broadcasting group SBS about selling part of the company.

In January, Kinowelt announced its intention to launch its own free-TV, ad-financed channel by the beginning of 2001. The news of the venture sent Kinowelt's share price tumbling 23.48% to euros50.50.