Germany’s WDR looking to revive public service VoD plans

WDR 2013 reportGermany’s WDR Media Group, an affiliate of public broadcaster ARD, is looking to revive plans to launch a VoD platform, after regulators blocked its joint Germany’s Gold initiative last year.

In WDR’s recently published annual report, WDR’s managing director Michael Loeb said that “the idea of ​​a separate VoD platform with top quality content is not off the table” after German regulator the Federal Cartel Office’s “negative decision” as regards Germany’s Gold.

Speaking to German media journal Funkkorrespondenz last week, Loeb said talks were underway with “several potential partners from channels as well as from producer groups and publishers,” with more information due to follow later this year.

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

In a statement at the time, 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 – blocked the project in its originally planned form. It claimed that alternative models would not be economically positive and that the project would not be continued.