German casters blast ARD, ZDF

VPRT calls for partial privatization

BERLIN — Angry at what it calls the grand schemes of Germany’s giant pubcasters, the Assn. of Commercial Radio and Television (VPRT) has called for the partial privatization of the public webs.

In an interview with the Berlin daily Tagespiegel, VPRT president Juergen Doetz blasted the “expansionist strategies” of national TV pubcasters ARD and ZDF, including a planned ZDF amusement park and the restructuring of ARD regional pubcaster Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk (MDR).

Viewer-funded ARD and ZDF only should be producing the kind of programming that commercial broadcasters are unable to provide due to their limited demand, such as cultural programs, news and documentaries, according to Doetz.

ZDF boss Dieter Stolte called Doetz’s comments “absolute nonsense” and not worth any consideration.

ZDF Enterprises said its theme park, ZDF-Medienpark, is being financed solely through private investment and not through television fees.

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