ZDF To Shorten Winter Sports Live Coverage From Kuusamo Due To Dispute With Infront
German public broadcaster ZDF "has to shorten its live coverage on the first big winter sports weekend of the season," according to the DPA. The originally planned broadcasts of cross-country skiing, Nordic Combined and ski jumping from Kuusamo, Finland have been scrapped because ZDF was unable to reach a financial agreement with the marketing company. ZDF Sports Dir Dieter Gruschwitz said, "The negotiations with Infront regarding this topic weren't concluded. Therefore we are unable to provide live coverage." The Switzerland-based company "is reportedly asking for too much money." Gruschwitz: "We regret it very much, but we have to orient ourselves based on facts. We therefore shortened the coverage." It is a "very annoying situation for the public broadcasters." Winter sports "is an absolute ratings hit for ARD and ZDF." Last year, winter sports obtained an average market share of 18.1% on ZDF. The "beneficiary of the issue is pan-European sports network Eurosport, which has the rights for the events in Kuusamo" (DPA, 11/26).