ZDF is remodeling its digital channels
July 7th, 2008

German public broadcaster ZDF is remodeling its digital channels, aiming at a younger audience.

Documentary channel ZDFdokukanal will be turned into a family channel for viewers between the ages of 25 and 50 years and their children, ZDF’s general director Markus Schächter said during the latest session of the broadcaster’s supervisory board in Mainz. He explained that the “high quality and diverse programming schedule” would provide viewers in this age group with an alternative to the predominantly-watched programmes offered by commercial broadcasters. In addition to documentaries, the revamped channel will also screen films, series and shows.

Theatre channel ZDFtheaterkanal will also be overhauled to make it more attractive to a younger audience by adding programmes on education, culture and youth themes, including a daily youth culture show. The channel will continue to screen broadcasts on theatre, ballet, musicals, concerts, performance art and culture festivals. Additionally, the Internet news site heute.de will be developed into an information portal to accompany advisory channel ZDFinfokanal. With the extended information offer on the Internet, ZDF hopes to increase its reach amongst young and middle-aged viewers.

Schächter stressed that the changes would be financed through the current budget with no additional funds from the public licence fee needed. “It’s not about an ‘expansion’, but an adjustment to ZDF’s offer in response to the requirements of the digital world. This is the only way we have a realistic chance in the digital future to fulfil our public service duties and better reach young people with our content,” said Schächter.

The supervisory board will finalise their decision regarding the changes in October.

(Source: Rapid TV News)