This was confirmed by Wolfgang Wagner (pictured), director of production and technology at WDR and currently also chairman of the production and technology commission of ARD and ZDF, in an interview with German industry magazine InfoDigital.
Currently, this affects the TV channels of all regional ARD affiliates with the exception of MDR, where the decision-making process is still ongoing, Wagner explained.
In February 2020, ARD announced that it will cease satellite broadcasting of its jointly operated channels in SD resolution on Astra in January 2021: Das Erste, tagesschau24, ONE and ARD-alpha.
European cultural channel ARTE will follow suit. The affected channels will then only be available in HD quality via Astra.
The date for the SD switch-off is January 12, 2021, according to Wagner.