ARD/ZDF get green light for youth service

October 17, 2014 13.10 Europe/London By Jörn Krieger
The Prime Ministers of the federal German states have approved the plans by public broadcasters ARD and ZDF to jointly set up a youth channel – however, in contrast to the original plans, not as a conventional TV channel, but as an internet-based multimedia proposition for PCs, smartphones and tablets.

“That’s good news for our young audience,” said ARD’s director general Lutz Marmor. “The fact that there will be no separate TV service, however, will make the launch more difficult, but we will do our best to develop an attractive proposition on the net jointly with ZDF.”

ZDF’s director general Thomas Bellut welcomed the decision as an “incentive to provide even more offerings for young viewers”, adding that the internet service would be a “perfect complementation” to its digital TV channels ZDFneo and ZDFinfo which already reach a younger audience. “However, we will then also need more freedom on the net than we currently have.”

For the new service which targets viewers between 14 and 29 years of age, ARD and ZDF will provide a total of up to €45 million of financing per year. In return, they will close down their digital TV channels ZDFkultur and EinsPlus.

A launch date for the new youth offering has not been fixed yet.