European Media Finance, the private equity group unveiled last year by former Helkon and 2K executive Patrick Martin, has made its first major media investment, buying a 30% stake in new digital music


CANNES, France (The Hollywood Reporter) -- European Media Finance, the private equity group unveiled last year by former Helkon and 2K executive Patrick Martin, has made its first major media investment, buying a 30% stake in new digital music TV venture Deluxe Television for an undisclosed sum, Martin said in an interview at MIPTV, the audiovisual and digital content market.

Deluxe Television is majority-controlled by German radio industry veteran Markus Langemann, previous head of Munich-based station Klassik Radio.

Deluxe launched its first digital music channel, Deluxe Music, on April 1 on the Astra satellite system. The company also is planning a cable rollout across Germany.

Deluxe already has signed an agreement with regional cable group Kabel BW to launch the channel on the Kabel BW network of 2.3 million households by month's end. Negotiations are under way with other regional cablers.

Unlike traditional music TV channels, Deluxe relies mainly on direct sales of CDs and music DVDs to viewers for its revenue.

"We call it Music Shopping TV," Martin said. "With every video clip there is a number on the screen where you can call to order the song or the album."

Unlike MTV, Deluxe's target demographic is 25- to 55-year-olds, and the music featured is more Norah Jones than 50 Cent.

Deluxe plans to launch two more specialty music channels -- Deluxe Classic and Deluxe Nova -- before year's end.

Martin said the investment in Deluxe Television was typical of the kind of niche media assets EMF would be targeting. Martin has said the company has access to upward of $100 million to acquire media properties.