German health channel dumps satellite

German health channel Deutsches Gesundheitsfernsehen (DGF) has abandoned satellite distribution and is available with immediate effect via its website only.

According to the Hamburg-based broadcaster, the move will serve the consolidation and further development of the brand, the continued distribution of health-related programmes and viewers’ increasing interest in readily-available content to download. The channel, which was launched on April 1 2007, screens advice series, talk shows, reports and scientific programmes covering health, nutrition, prevention, exercise, research and naturopathy.

Distribution via Astra (19.2° East) was terminated on February 10. At the time, a spokeswoman said that the interruption was only temporary due to a technical rearrangement and that the channel would be available as usual on Astra within a few days.

The development indicates that the advertising-financed free-to-air channel has been hit hard by the reduction in advertising revenue caused by the economic crisis. With the termination of its satellite distribution, DGF has rid itself of a significant expense, but also a large portion of its audience. It remains to be seen how long the channel can hold out as a web-TV service.