ARD and ZDF to set up youth channel

Jörn Krieger | 28-11-2012

German public broadcasters ARD and ZDF are to launch a new digital TV channel targeting viewers aged between 14- 29.

Two of the companies' existing digital channels will be merged into the new service. ARD's general directors decided at their latest assembly in Cologne that the broadcaster will contribute its digital channel EinsPlus to the venture. And ZDF will also sacrifice an existing channel; the public broadcaster's TV family will lose one channel below the line. The joint youth channel will launch in around six to nine months.

At the same time, ARD's digital channel Einsfestival will be revamped to reach a new target audience of viewers aged between 30-49 and will also get a new name.

ZDF doesn't yet want to comment on which of its digital channels - ZDFneo, ZDFkultur or ZDFinfo - will be axed in favour of the new youth service. "ZDF has already signalled its readiness to talk [about setting up a youth channel with ARD] a while ago," a ZDF spokesman told Rapid TV News. "Such talks are, of course, unbiased as to the result and - also with regards to a response to your question - we don't want to act prematurely," he said.