The German free-to-air channel TV Gusto has decided to drop its FTA broadcasts on Astra and turn pay under the new name of Bon Gusto.
The new channel will be caried on extended tiers with cable providers Kabel Deutschland, Unitymedia, Kabel BW, as well as on IPTV platforms from T-Home and Alice/HanseNe, according to the German news service Digital Fernsehen.
The move by TV Gusto is another indication that German private broadcasters, and especially niche channels, find it increasingly difficult to sustain their business model, which is based solely on advertising income.
Just recently we saw Tele5 and Eurosport leaving part of their digital terrestrial distribution as the additional advertising income does not outweigh the costs of broadcasts in a number of regions.
With dozens of free-to-air broadcasters, Germany is one of the most competitive TV market places in Europe. Private broadcasters not only face competiton of an overwhelming number of public channels, but also a viewing public that is outright hostile to pay-TV.