Austrian pubcaster slashes budget

ORF cuts $97 mil from programming for next year

BERLIN -- Austrian pubcaster ORF is chopping 77 million euros ($97 million) from its programming budget after overspending on sports and an advertising downturn left it swimming in a pool of red ink.

ORF has dropped next year's planned broadcast of Champions League soccer matches and has slashed $25 million -- or 20% -- of its film production budget. That could hurt Austrian producers.

ORF is a major backer of the local indie film scene and often plays a key financing role. Recent ORF projects include "Balkan Express," "Heart of Fire" and the upcoming "Mein Kampf."
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