Doomsday for local TV in Germany

Jrn Krieger | 30-05-2013

Three commercial local TV channels in Germany will close down this year due to insufficient revenue from the local advertising market. - Heimatfernsehen fr Bremen und Bremerhaven, a channel targeting the northern cities of Bremen and Bremerhaven, will cease broadcasting on 31 May 2013. The channel's slots on the analogue cable network and on DTT airwaves will be taken over by home-shopping broadcasters and QVC respectively on 1 June 2013.
Leipzig Fernsehen, which targets eastern city Leipzig, will close down on 30 September 2013. "It's no longer possible to fund television solely through local advertising revenues," Leipzig Fernsehen's managing director Ren Falkner told the newspaper Bild. "The broadcast costs have become too high," he added.
The channel, which launched in 1995, is currently being watched by an average of 51,000 viewers per day. "That's the best figure in eastern Germany with the exception of Berlin," said Falkner. It's still uncertain what will happen to the 20 employees. "We are thinking about what we can do," said Falkner.
The same fate awaits Sachsen Fernsehen, the sister channel targeting Chemnitz. "The operations will be closed down there as well," said Falkner. Only the group's local channel in Dresden will remain on air.