ARD signed on the dotted line Thursday, officially becoming an equal partner in German-language cultural satellite web 3sat, effective Dec. 1.

On that day, ARD’s own, similar channel is history.

3sat until now has been a joint effort of ZDF with Austrian and Swiss pubcasters. ARD’s move into the channel is part of an ongoing effort of German pubcasters to combine resources to save money. ARD will supply one-third of the web’s programming, relieving much of ZDF’s burden of obligation. The remainder of the programming will come from the other partners.

The move also means savings for ARD, which has been operating 1Plus solo. That web, similar in tone to 3sat, goes.