ZDF considers premium VoD service

Jrn Krieger

German public broadcaster ZDF is considering the creation of a premium video-on-demand (VoD) portal.

Selected programmes would be offered on the new download service after the expiration of the seven day cost-free period on existing catch-up service ZDFmediathek available under www.mediathek.zdf.de. The offer would be operated by commercial subsidiary ZDF Enterprises.

Alexander Coridass, managing director of ZDF Enterprises, confirmed to Berlin newspaper Tagesspiegel that the establishment of a separate premium portal offering ZDF content was being discussed. The reason is the success of ZDF content on the online video library maxdome, operated by commercial competitor ProSiebenSat.1. More than 200 ZDF films, series and documentaries are available on maxdome, costing between 0.99 and 3. According to Coridass, ZDFs offer on maxdome will be expanded.

European cultural channel ARTE, operated by German and French public broadcasters, has offered a premium VoD service under www.artevod.com since the beginning of 2006. When challenged with the reproach that licence fee payers are made to pay twice for the premium web offer, public broadcasters defended the decision. In the past, a DVD or video cassette of our films also cost money, said Coridass. Were still doing the same thing, only its on the internet.