ZDF, ARD, Beta, NDF see VOD service rejected by German regulator.

German competition regulator the Federal Cartel Office has rejected a proposed VOD service from a collective of major distributors and producers including ZDF Enterprises and ARD as well as independents Beta Film, Brainpool, NDF and Ziegler Film.

The project, known as Germany’s Gold, was to show German TV and film as well as international features.

The Cartel Office ruled that the strong positions of pubcasters ZDF and ARD would give the service an unfair advantage in the market.

Alexander Coridass, president and CEO of ZDF Enterprises, lamented the ruling: “It is deplorable that the realization of this ground-breaking and future-oriented project cannot be achieved.

“It seems that German competition law prevents companies like ZDF Enterprises from playing an active role in the development of VoD markets. In times of the changing use of media, of modified viewer needs and of the fragmentation of offers, it would have been important to have a portal with a focus on German and European content.

“Nevertheless, we shall continue to pursue our commitment to new technologies and market developments. We have an enormous catalogue of VoD rights, that we acquired independently from ZDF, and we will find new ways to market it. ”

ZDF Enterprises, founded in 1993, is the commercial subsidiary of major European TV broadcaster ZDF.