ZDF unveils family channel details

Jörn Krieger

German public broadcaster ZDF will launch its planned family channel on November 1. The digital service, which replaces ZDFdokukanal, will be called – as expected – ZDFneo.

The channel will address young families and viewers aged between 25 and 49 years. “When you can no longer reach all viewers with one channel, success lies in offering a strong channel family in which the different target groups all come under the ZDF umbrella,” said ZDF’s general director Markus Schächter in Mainz.

Documentaries, music shows, movies, international series, comedy shows and lifestyle programmes will be screened on the new channel, which until now carried the working title Orange. ZDFneo will also serve as a test platform for new formats which if successful could be taken over by ZDF’s main channel.

With the new strategy, ZDF wants to position the service as a public-broadcaster-provided alternative to the commercial TV offers preferred by many young viewers. A special feature of the new channel will be its prime time commencing at 9pm instead of the traditional 8.15pm prime-time kick-off, which ZDF hopes will address the needs of young parents and active people who work later into the evening.