Austria welcomes new broadcaster


MUNICH -- A new commercial broadcaster, Austria 9 TV, will begin operations from Vienna on Wednesday, the company said Tuesday.

The channel will lean heavily for its programming on classic U.S. series including "The Streets of San Francisco," "MacGyver," "JAG" and "The X-Files" as well as featuring German-language film hits, quiz shows and tele-shopping.

Austria 9 managing director Conrad Heberling said he expects the channel to be available to 2.7 million of Austria's 3.5 million households "within the next few weeks" via satellite and cable.

Along with the expanded nationwide availability of the Vienna live-TV local station Puls 4 beginning in mid-December, Austria 9 will double the number of Austrian channels available in the country within the space of a week. Until now, only pubcaster ORF and ATV, a commercial broadcaster founded in 2000, were available nationally, though Austrian households also watched German free-to-air channels such as RTL and ZDF.