German pubcasters seek HD cable carriage
08.54 Europe/London, January 26, 2012 By Robert Briel

The German public broadcasters ARD and ZDF seek cable carriage for the 10 new HD channels, which will launch on April 30, 2012.

However, the broadcasters are not prepared to pay a carriage fee for the new channels, but expect the cable operators to distribute their channels. So far, the cablers have not agreed with this demand.

ARD and ZDF hope to save up to EUR60 million per year by not paying operators for distribution of their channels.

The broadcasters are closing down their analogue satellite transmission this April and will launch no less than 10 HD channels., These are the thematic channels ZDFneo, ZDFkultur, ZDFinfo, 3sat, Phoenix, Kika, and regional broadcasters SWR, BR, NDR and WDR.

More HD versions of regional broadcasters, all part of the ARD, will start in the years to come. The plan is to have HD versions of all public channels on satellite.

So far, only Deutsche Telekomís IPTV service Entertain and the small cable operator have said they will carry all 10 new HD channels.

It is not certain that the three major operators, Kabel Deutschland, Unitymedia and Kabel BW, will agree with the proposed non-payment for the distribution of the HD channels.