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Rescue attempts for ORF sports channels

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Sport Austria President Hans Niessl is looking for a conversation with ORF Director General Roland Weißmann. On Tuesday, the announced cessation of the special interest channel ORF Sport + will be discussed, as the federal sports organization announced on Monday by broadcast. Niessl spoke of around 80 million euros a year that would be lost from organized sport due to the loss of media value transmissions. “Endangering the diversity of sport as an essential part of Austrian culture is negligent. We will demonstrate this to the ORF management on Tuesday and remind them of their public service mandate,” Niessl was quoted as saying. Sport Austria therefore expects a “future-oriented” concept that “represents Austria’s sport in its entirety and even improves the status quo”.

Weißmann presented his savings plans for the public media company two weeks ago. Around 300 million euros are to be saved by 2026. The special interest channel ORF Sport + is to be discontinued as a linear TV channel. Sport Austria sees the savings volume at a maximum of 10 million euros. “At the same time, large parts of Austrian sport are being deprived of an important livelihood,” noted Martin Ohneberg, President of the Austrian Tennis Association.

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Sport Austria had already asked ORF to submit a “clear, strategic and future-oriented concept” for the future depiction of sport in Austria by this Thursday (March 9). The ORF Board of Trustees will meet on March 23 to discuss possible cost-cutting measures.

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