ORF launches catch-up service
Jörn Krieger
Monday, 16 November 2009 20:00

Austrian public broadcaster Österreichischer Rundfunk (ORF) launched its internet-based catch-up service ORF-TVthek on November 16.

Viewers can watch more than 70 programmes after their initial TV transmission free-of-charge and in full length. The focus is on ORF in-house and co-productions, including news and entertainment programmes, documentaries, talk shows, sports, cultural and religious programmes as well as ORF’s regional reports. Additionally, 20 programmes will be transmitted via the internet at the same time as they are shown on television, including news broadcasts, live sports, parliamentary sessions and church services. Movies and series purchased from third parties will not be offered.

The programmes will be accompanied by additional material, such as extended versions of interviews or manuscripts as well as optional subtitles. The service, in which ORF has invested around a million euros, will retain the programmes for up to seven days after their TV transmissions with the exception of premium sports such as soccer, Formula 1 and skiing, which ORF – provided the internet rights could be obtained – can only make available online for 24 hours.

The offer, developed by Berlin-based multimedia agency Exozet, is available worldwide and can therefore also be accessed by the approximately half million Austrians living abroad. Access will only be restricted to domestic Austrian internet users through geo protection if the rights situation demands.