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Infobox radio tower icon
Station logo
TV station ( public service )
Program type Division program
reception Antenna , cable , satellite , digital, live stream
Image resolution 576i ( SDTV )
720p ( HDTV ) (ZDFneo HD)
1080p ( HDTV ) (ZDFneo HD via DVB-T2)
Start of transmission November 1, 2009
Seat Mainz , GermanyGermanyGermany 
Broadcaster Second German Television
Intendant Thomas Bellut
Program director Nadine Bilke
Market share 2.9% (2017)
List of TV channels

The television broadcaster ZDFneo replaced the ZDFdokukanal on November 1st, 2009 . It sees itself as a public program alternative for 25 to 49 year olds. However, the average age of the audience is 60 years.


The ZDFneo logo until September 25, 2017
Logo of ZDFneo HD from April 30, 2012 to September 25, 2017

ZDFneo is a mix of true-to-life “factual entertainment” formats (that is to say: “factual entertainment”), service programs, documentaries, reports, late-night and personality shows, quizzes, documentary soaps, feature films, international commercial series and comedies . In 2009, ZDF wrote in a press release that ZDFneo wanted to be an attractive alternative under public law for younger viewers.

Norbert Himmler , ZDFneo director from 2009 to 2012, said in 2009 that ZDFneo aimed “at an audience of viewers who expect more from television than they are currently getting.” ZDF could prove that ZDFneo is different from private television in all genres.

ZDFneo's claim is to "make intelligent and entertaining television for people between 25 and 49 years of age," said channel manager Simone Emmelius in 2012 .

ZDFneo also sees itself as an innovation platform for ZDF and wants to give young talents a chance. One example of this was the TVLab , which was broadcast for the first time in 2011: a different, new program idea was broadcast every evening for a week. Viewers could decide online which of them they wanted to see on the program in the future. The winner of the TVLab 2011 was Tedros “Teddy” Teclebrhan , who became known on YouTube through his integration test. His show Teddy's Show has been on ZDFneo's program since May 2012. The TVLab continued annually from 2012 to 2015.

The font "Klavika" has been used for the entire on-air design and most of the programs. On October 1, 2017, the station should get a new on-air design and a new station logo. Contrary to all announcements, the redesign was implemented in the morning hours of September 26, 2017.


ZDFneo can be received 24 hours a day via satellite, cable in the ZDFvision package and via DVB-T2 . It is also distributed via IPTV and streaming services such as Zattoo .

ZDFneo has been broadcast in HD 720p since April 30, 2012 . Initially, the program was only upscaled from 576i, as ZDFneo did not have HD-capable broadcasting at the time. The program has been broadcast in native HD quality since mid-May 2015.

Program scheme

In the morning ZDFneo weekdays is mostly natural, travel or knowledge formats such as Jimmy's Food Factory or back and way - the international check , as well as documentaries such as Terra X . In the afternoon, among other things, purchase series such as Die Nanny or Hart run warmly . In the so-called “Access Prime Time”, ZDFneo will show series and the specially produced pub quiz from 6 pm. Prime time starts at 8:15 p.m. On Mondays and Wednesdays, TV films and series like Inspector Barnaby , Hustle - Dishonest Lasts Longest , Spooks - In the sights of MI5 or Mad Men are shown . On Tuesdays, ZDFneo shows national and international feature films in prime time. On Thursdays in the evening ZDFneo broadcast in-house productions such as the late-night show Neo Magazin Royale or the personality show Kessler ist ... On Fridays in the evening, ZDFneo again shows commercial series and TV films as well as occasional series, including Orphan Black . Documentaries are mainly broadcast during the night.

At the weekend, ZDFneo shows nature, travel or knowledge formats, comedy and factual entertainment, in the evening fictional series and television and feature films.

Other programs include series of reports such as Herr Eppert sucht ... and Wild Germany . In addition, ZDFneo positions itself with social experiments such as “On the Run - The Experiment”, which also received the German Television Prize 2013, and “Manipulates”.

ZDFneo has shown several award-winning series in German premieres or free TV premieres, such as 30 Rock and Mad Men . The free TV premiere of the digitally restored version of the Raumschiff Enterprise series was also shown on ZDFneo. ZDFneo's own productions are called Neoriginal on the station .


While the ZDFdokukanal only cost 4.9 million euros from 2004 to 2008, ZDF spent 93.6 million euros on ZDFneo from 2009 to 2012.

Audience acceptance

In September 2017, the station achieved a market share of 3.3% of the total audience. For the whole of 2017, it came to 2.9% of the total audience.



German private broadcasters criticized the ZDF project even before it was first broadcast. They accused the Mainz broadcaster of wanting to operate an "indifferent youth family music entertainment channel" aimed at viewers aged 25 to 49. ZDF program director Thomas Bellut , for his part, criticizes the private broadcasters and accuses them of “misinformation and assumptions”. At the instigation of the private broadcaster, the range of programs has been limited to one digital specialty channel .

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung describes the introduction of ZDFneo as a "necessary and honorable attempt" and praises the fact that the station is less quota-oriented. However, "the existence of a separate program for a younger, moderately demanding audience should not be used as an excuse [...] for making the main program even more streamlined and slowly aging it out of convenience with the audience".


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ZDF family channel is a done deal. ZDF Dokukanal becomes ZDFneo. (No longer available online.) In: kress.de . Haymarket Media , August 19, 2009; archived from the original August 4, 2012 ; accessed on November 22, 2018 .
  2. Thomas Lückerath: The second second: ZDFneo starts on November 1st. In: dwdl.de from August 19, 2009, accessed on November 22, 2018.
  3. ^ ZDF press and information: Nadine Bilke is the new head of ZDFneo. In: presseportal.zdf.de. May 3, 2018, accessed November 22, 2018.
  4. ^ German TV ratings. Classic television is losing viewers. In: sn.at. Salzburger Nachrichten , accessed on January 2, 2018 .
  5. Jan Friday: Unseen, worth seeing. In: zeit.de. ZEIT ONLINE , June 15, 2012, accessed on November 22, 2018.
  6. Alexander Krei: The balance of One and ZDFneo: Because of the fountain of youth. In: DWDL.de. August 10, 2018, accessed November 22, 2018.
  7. ^ ZDF press office: The ZDFdokukanal is going, ZDFneo is coming - the start of the public service alternative for younger viewers. (PDF; 12 KB) Press release. (No longer available online.) In : haben.zdf.de. August 19, 2009, archived from the original on January 31, 2012 ; accessed on November 22, 2018 .
  8. a b Stefan Niggemeier : ZDFneo - television for people who no longer watch television. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung . October 31, 2009.
  9. a b "We are an experiment platform". Interview with ZDFneo boss Simone Emmelius. In: Jetzt.de . April 4, 2012, Retrieved November 22, 2018.
  10. Timo Niemeier: Final line: ZDFneo finally buries its "TVLab" . In: DWDL.de . ( dwdl.de [accessed October 30, 2017]).
  11. fm: ZDFneo sent the TVLab into the second round. In: digitalfernsehen.de. March 20, 2012, accessed November 22, 2018.
  12. Alexander Krei: ZDFneo gets a completely new brand identity. In: DWDL.de. August 18, 2017. Retrieved August 26, 2017.
  13. (dm): Astra transponder data for new ZDF HD channels from April 30, 2012 are fixed. News from digital TV. (No longer available online.) In: infosat.de. December 6, 2011, archived from the original on May 5, 2012 ; accessed on November 22, 2018 .
  14. Studio Hamburg Production Group: “On the Flucht - The Experiment” receives the German Television Award 2013. In: studio-hamburg-produktion.de. October 3, 2013, accessed May 17, 2017 .
  15. ^ "Manipulated": Producer Michaela Hummel on the new social experiment at ZDFneo . May 16, 2017 ( murmann-magazin.de [accessed May 17, 2017]).
  16. (ots): Emmy-winning sitcom to be seen on ZDFneo. In: presseportal.de. September 21, 2009. Retrieved November 22, 2018.
  17. Two new US series at neo. In: DWDL.de. March 25, 2010, accessed November 22, 2018.
  18. ^ Claudia Tieschky: KEF report: ARD and ZDF - explosive numbers. KEF report: ARD and ZDF. In: sueddeutsche.de. February 23, 2010, accessed November 22, 2018.
  19. ZDFneo creates a new record, Disney gains slightly . In: quota meter . October 2, 2017 ( quotenmeter.de [accessed October 30, 2017]).
  20. The 10-year balance of television: Big channels lose market share to small ones - only ZDF not , meedia.de , July 24, 2017
  21. Alexander Krei: RTL finds critical words for ZDFneo. In: quotenmeter.de . August 21, 2009, accessed on November 22, 2018 (quoted from the FAZ ).
  22. Alexander Krei: ZDFneo: Bellut attacks the private broadcasters. In: quotenmeter.de. October 16, 2009, accessed November 22, 2018.