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ProSiebenSat.1 completes ATV deal

Germany’s ProSiebenSat.1 has closed a deal for Tele München Group-owned Austrian broadcaster ATV.

Thomas GruberFollowing competition, cartel and media authority approvals in Austria, the deal bringing together Austrian terrestrials ATV and Puls 4 closed yesterday.

ProSiebenSat.1 Puls 4, the unit that did the deal for ProSiebenSat.1 Media, has immediately moved to make Thomas Gruber (pictured) managing director of ATV.

Meanwhile, an “urgent need for economic restructuring at ATV” will see the loss of around 70 jobs by 2018.

Gruber was previously programme director at the management board of ProSiebenSat.1 Puls 4, whose CFO, Berhard Albrecht, would aid the restructuring and merger process.

While ATV will remain as “a full-service broadcaster with clear positioning”, with merged operations.

Marketing, locations, technical operation and studios units are planned to be coming together by the start of 2018. Admin and purchasing operations will immediately begin “closely” co-operating.

“In light of the urgent need for economic restructuring at ATV, we will consolidate the organisation of the station group,” said Albrecht. “This is expected to result in the loss of around 70 jobs at ATV by the beginning of 2018.

We are of course trying to find a fast solution secured by a social-compensation plan for all affected employees and have already identified around 20 open positions within ProSiebenSat.1 Puls 4 Group for which we will now give preferential consideration to ATV employees.

“At the same time, we will be immediately speaking to all partners and suppliers of ATV in order to amalgamate agreements and to jointly make the restructuring a success.”

Gruber claimed the restructuring was “necessary”, adding: “We are securing ATV’s position in the Austrian TV market in the long run and enabling new growth opportunities for the station.

ATV is a very good complement to the ProSiebenSat.1 Puls 4 portfolio and can be marketed effectively alongside the Group’s other stations.

“With reasonable complementary programming between Puls 4 and ATV, we will create more Austrian-flavored primetime offerings for viewers and a clearer positioning for ATV.”

ProSieben has operated Puls 4 in Austria since 1998.