ARD/ZDF urge 2012 analogue switch-off

Jörn Krieger

German public broadcasters ARD and ZDF want to end the analogue distribution of their TV channels in early 2012, ARD head Peter Boudgoust and ZDF director Markus Schächter announced in Berlin.

However, Schächter stated that the analogue switch off wouldn’t make sense before 90% of viewers can receive digital television. With the new date, the termination of analogue signals is being pushed back further. In autumn 2008 ARD and ZDF had envisioned switching off at least analogue TV signals on satellite in 2010.

Cable is the main area where more needs to be done to convince viewers to make the switch to digital, with only around 30% of German cable households having so far made the change. The share of DTH satellite households who receive digital television is already at 70%.

Large cable operators Kabel Deutschland and Kabel BW recently stressed that they would continue to offer analogue channels for years to come, so that customers can decide for themselves if they want to switch to digital television or continue with analogue.