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Economy ruins ZDF theme park plan

Schaechter: Co. to focus on p'gramming, development

COLOGNE — German pubcaster ZDF has abandoned plans to build a media theme park near its headquarters in Mainz that was projected to cost $140 million.

ZDF topper Markus Schaechter said the economic climate did not allow for the realization of such a project and that the web did not want to tie up funds in long-term investments.

“ZDF needs to use its means for programming and development of its operative structure,” he said.

The idea of a ZDF family theme park had been around since the late 1990s, and the pubcaster had successfully jumped through political hoops to get the necessary permits.

But ZDF and sister pubcaster ARD have increasingly come under fire for widening their activities beyond broadcasting and challenging their commercial rivals on various fronts.

Pubcasters operate in relative financial safety due to support from state funds and to compulsory monthly fees paid by every TV set owner.

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