ZDF strikes deals with China, Korea

Pubcaster adds two new names to list of co-op pacts

COLOGNE — German pubcaster ZDF has widened its list of international cooperation agreements by two partnerships with broadcasters in China and South Korea.

On the occasion of the Shanghai Television Festival, ZDF topper Markus Schaechter signed up with Ye Zhikang, president of Shanghai Media Entertainment Group (SMEG). The Chinese group was established in 2001 and reaches some 100 million viewers with 11 channels. The agreements cover mutual access to news material and archive footage as well as mutual production aid. It complements partnerships ZDF has closed earlier in the region, including CCTV in China and TBS in Japan. The German web also operates two correspondence studios in Beijing and Tokyo.

An agreement along the same lines was signed with South Korea’s Munwha TV & Radio Broadcasting, a privately owned media group acting on a pubcaster status similar to ZDF. Schaechter highlighted Munwha’s good contacts to North Korea as a prime reason for entering a partnership, allowing for at least indirect access to the difficult region.

“The political development in North Korea as well as the risk of potential military conflicts ask for access to footage and informa-tion from the secluded country, which our South Korean partners can provide,” he said.

Over the past years, ZDF has systematically expanded its international news footage supply base through partnerships with broadcasters in different regions such as Russia’s VGTRK, Iran’s IRIB, NBC in the U.S., and Al-Jhazeera.

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