ZDF Neo doubles market share

German digital channel launched last month by pubweb ZDF

COLOGNE, Germany -- It started with a whimper but ZDF Neo, the digital niche channel launched last month by pubweb ZDF, is slowing finding an audience.

According to figures released Monday, the channel now has a 0.2% share of the 14-49 audience. Hardly earth-shattering but double the rating achieved by ZDF Dokukanal, the documentary channel that used to air in the same slot.

That's good news for "30 Rock." The Emmy-winning sitcom celebrated its German free-TV debut on ZDF Neo with a disastrous 0.0% rating but has slowly gained week-on-week and now rates at 0.3% in the 14-49 demographic, above the channel's average.

While it is still a tiny player, ZDF Neo is being closely watched by the German industry as a rare sign of experimentation and risk-taking by the country's staid pubwebs.

The German association of commercial broadcasters has already attacked the channel as unfair competition because it uses tax revenue to target younger viewers, the same demo fought over by private networks.