Private TV set for Austria OK

Bill must still be passed by government

LONDON — After years of delays, private commercial television in Austria looks set to be greenlighted.

Bill, introduced last week in Vienna, must still be passed by the government. It has been rejected by the opposition parties but will likely be passed by the major government parties by summer.

Law would kick in at the beginning of next year.

Austria’s vice chancellor Susanne Riess-Passer described events as finally marking a close to pubcaster ORF’s monopoly position.

A second proposal for a law calls for ORF to be transformed into a foundation on whose board politicians would no longer sit.

Until now, private television has only been available in Austria via cable and satellite, with the country enjoying a wide selection of channels from neighboring countries such as Germany.

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