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ZDF and ARD shelve German VoD plans

German public broadcasters ARD and ZDF have shelved plans to launch joint online video-on-demand service, Germany’s Gold, following  objections by German regulator the Federal Cartel Office.

In a statement WDR Mediagroup, the commercial arm of German public broadcasting institution WDR and another partner in the project, said that the Cartel Office – which has been examining the venture since November 2011 – has blocked the project in its originally planned form.

Claiming that alternative models would not be economically positive, the WDR Mediagroup said that the project would not be continued.

“We are very sorry that we can not implement this project. In times of changing media use, audience needs and fragmentation, a portal would have been important for viewers to access quality  German film and television content at any time after the traditional TV broadcasting window,” it said in a statement.

Germany’s Gold was initially planned as a common platform that could play host to 60 years-worth of German television content. Other partners that were also involved in the project were Studio Hamburg, Bavaria Fernsehproduktion, Beta Film, Ziegler Film, MME, Brainpool, and Telepool.