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Deutsche Welle expands television program in Latin America

January 31, 2012

The comprehensive reform for Germany’s international broadcaster focuses on improved communication with target audience, regionalized channels and new programming formats.

DW studio
DW studioImage: DW

Deutsche Welle (DW) will be expanding its Spanish television service for Latin America from two to 20 hours daily, starting February 6, 2012. At a press conference in Berlin on January 31, Deutsche Welle Director General Erik Bettermann said the new lineup for viewers between Mexico and Tierra del Fuego is part of a comprehensive reform process designed to reposition Germany’s international broadcaster. The core of this process focuses on improved communication with the target audience through new, defined, language-based channels, regionalized programming and a variety of multimedia content that can be used online. “These changes highlight a milestone for representing Germany better around the world,” said Bettermann.

The Director General went on to say that the commitment to Latin America represents the importance of the region to Germany. Bettermann said the expansion of the program for Latin America will significantly increase DW’s presence there. At the World Economic Forum in Davos on January 26, Mexican President Felipe Calderón said: “It is great to have a partner like Deutsche Welle broadcasting for 20 hours in Spanish. It opens up new opportunities in Latin America. The program will be a bridge to Europe, and Germany in particular.”

DW has seen success in Latin America from day one The competitive television market in Latin America is flooded with commercial, public and, increasingly, international broadcasters.

“The key to success lies with our partners in Latin America,” said Bettermann. Around 850 partners throughout the region have included DW programming in their lineups so far – and negotiations with other partners are currently under way. “To be even more successful in Latin America, we are working create more regional programming in Spanish,” said Bettermann. DW’s 24-hour schedule for Latin America includes four hours of German programming. 

Regionalized channels worldwide

But DW won’t only be setting the tone in Latin America on February 6. There will be two channels for nearly every region around the world, with the exception of sub-Saharan Africa. Until now, this had only been the case with DW’s dual-channel concept for Asia.

The basis will be a new channel will feature 24 hours of English programming broadcast in North America, Africa, Asia and Australia. That will be expanded worldwide with regional channels focusing on other languages: In North and Latin America and Asia, the second channel will be made up of 20 hours of programming in German and four hours in English. In the Arab world, there will be a channel featuring 10 hours of Arabic programming and 14 hours of English; and in Europe, DW will broadcast 18 hours of English and six hours of German during primetime.
“With English as the international lingua franca we will be able to reach our most important target audience – people who are interested in information from Germany and Europe and who act as regional and international opinion leaders,” explained Bettermann. “In America and Asia, we have simultaneously expanded our TV programming in German. We can also make use of more programming from the German public broadcasters ARD and ZDF for these lineups.”

In the future, programming from ARD and ZDF will make up around 60 percent of the entire program. “This intensified cooperation will only help increase Germany’s presence in the international media landscape. We want to show only the best that Germany has to offer,” said Bettermann. He went on to say that the cooperation with national partners helps DW increase its television program in additional languages. 

January 31, 2012