Germany's Kinowelt has revived its ambitions to become a player in the German broadcasting arena with plans for a free-TV niche film channel for nationwide distribution.

Kinowelt Television has been granted a broadcasting licence by the Kassel-based media watchdog LPR Hessen subject to a final green light from the assembly of regional media watchdogs DLM and the KEK watchdog. Frankfurt-based Kinowelt Television is a 50-50 joint venture between Michael Koelmel's investment company MK Medien Beteiligungs GmbH and his brother-in-law Achim Apell.

According to LPR Hessen, the film channel would show classics as well as a number of productions from former East Germany, classic German comedies and auteur films as well as films specifically targeted at women.

The channel would be broadcast via the ASTRA satellite and would also be available via cable.

In June 2000, the previous Kinowelt Medien acquired a 10% share in the new analogue satellite TV station B.TV Television as part of a plan to launch its own television station to compete with German public broadcasters and the CLT-UFA and Kirch broadcasting families.

However, the company's TV ambitions hit the buffers when Kinowelt was forced to retrench after 2001.