Published: 07.17 Europe/London, May 20, 2011

The Austrian telecoms and media authority KommAustria has announced its intention to licence the new ORF 3 information and cultural channel. However, it has also attached a number of conditions to the issuing of the licence.

Public broadcaster ORF will not be allowed to cross-promote the channel on the existing two national public networks and is also not allowed to sell advertising in combination with its other two channels, ORF 1 and ORF 2.

“Our task was to determine the public value of the planned channel amnd weigh this against the potential adverse impact on the competition. With the conditions imposed, a proper balance is established.” said Dr. Florian Philapitsch, chairman of the authority, about the decision.

In order to protect the editorial freedom of the ORF, KommAustria is not allowed to impose conditions on the content of the new channel. The decision is not yet final, but subject to consultation. The relevant document can be downloaded from the RTR GmbH website (in German only).

The ORF originally planned a May 1 launch for the new channel, but had to postpone the launch date due to regulatory issues.