How does the TV program change during Advent?

First things first: football breaks are much rarer during the controversial World Cup in Qatar than in “regular” tournaments. Between the opening game on Sunday 20 November (5 pm) and the final on Sunday 18 December (4 pm), there are only six days off, mostly towards the end of the tournament. Initially, between November 20 and December 6, the ball does not rest one day. However – and this is the advantage of other programs – games usually end a little before 10 pm. Only extra work and penalties can throw a wrench in the works for TV planners from the knockout stage onwards.

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However, there are 64 games in just 29 days in the program. This should make it clear: The highlights of new movies, series, shows, talks, and other programs outside of football are going to have a tough time during this time. But what formats do the major broadcasters want to send into the race against the King of Football? What programs will be postponed or will not start before or during the World Cup?

Departure times in Qatar

In order to find out which broadcast dates are still free, you have to know the schedule of the World Cup. In short, it looks like this: in the group stage (Sunday, 20 November to Friday, 2 December), which lasts only 13 days for the first time in the history of the World Cup, there are a whopping four matches per day except for the first two days instead of. It starts at 11 am. Other departure times are 2pm, 4pm, 5pm and 8pm.

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Immediately after the group stage, the Round of 16 will take place from Saturday 3 December to Tuesday 6 December (kickoff: 4pm and 8pm). This will be followed by two days off on Monday, December 7 and Tuesday, December 8. The quarter-final matches will take place on Friday 9 December and Saturday 10 December (4 pm and 8 pm). This will be followed by two more days of rest before the semi-final matches take place on Tuesday 13 December and Wednesday 14 December (8pm). The World Cup Final will take place on Sunday, December 18th at 4pm.

What dates should I keep free for Germany?

The time difference between Germany and Qatar is minus two hours. Local time always starts 2 hours earlier from here. Logically, only the group matches have been decided so far: Germany will start the tournament against Japan on Wednesday, November 23 at 2 pm. The first match against Spain is more staff friendly: Sunday, November 27, 8pm. The group final match against Costa Rica will take place on Thursday 1 December at 8pm.

If Germany wins their group, the team will play in the Round of 16 on Monday, December 5th, at 4pm. If Germany takes second place in the group, then round 16 will take place exactly one day later: on Tuesday, December 6, at 4 pm.

How do TV stations react?

Full written programs in particular are in trouble during the FIFA World Cup. On the one hand, in the run-up to Christmas, when it’s cold and dark outside, one would expect a light-filled program. Until now, the major football tournaments are always held in the summer. It wasn’t noticeable that it was basically a live anti-football. Many of the far-flung movie shows and series, like “Tatort,” are on summer vacation anyway.

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Two other things to consider: First, the World Cup is politically controversial, which is why broadcasters have a certain obligation to offer alternatives. Alternatives for those who boycotted the big event from Qatar altogether, attend the tournament only sporadically or who simply cannot cope with the new World Cup season.

Finally, the rapidly growing importance of nonlinear television comes into play. All broadcasters are now making extensive use of media libraries or streaming services (in-house) with which they can also use high-quality fiction and other things out of season. For example, from 10 pm or 10:30 pm, when the ball goes to sleep in the principality. We spoke to ARD, ZDF, RTL, Pro-Sieben-Sat.1 and Amazon as a pure stream representative to find out what broadcasters are planning during the World Cup in Qatar.

The first: maybe just a new “crime scene” during the World Cup

“One thing is for sure, there will be an attractive range of programming on Channel One during the World Cup,” said ARD spokesperson Burchard Röver. He reveals that on Sunday 20 November – the day of the opening match (5pm) – there will be a premiere of ‘Crime Scene’ later in the evening: The Dresden Affair ‘Cat and Mouse’ (8:15pm). The two-part TV movie “Alice” about the life of feminist icon Alice Schwarzer will also be shown on Wednesday, November 30, likely in parallel with the preliminary round match between Poland and Argentina.

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A spokesperson for ARD Röver continues, “The series on the early evening program will also continue with the first broadcast. In the main round, i.e. from the Round of 16, there are currently fewer first broadcasts than usual on match days due to the short-term distribution of matches.

As Germany plays Spain on Sunday, November 27 at 8 pm, a repetition of “Tatort” will be shown that evening: the Monster classic “Declare Chimera” from 2015. Also on December 4th the Cologne episode “Freddy Dances” will be replay Crime Scene” in I. After all: a week later – on December 11, there is no play at the World Cup – the premiere of “Polizeiruf 110” follows with the action RBB thriller “Abgrund”.

The first Tuesday Evening series (currently: “Die Kanzlei”, “In allerFreundschaft”) will run in part during the World Cup. Like other full programs, the former refers to its own media library. Borchard Rover: “The ARD Media Center regularly presents its highlights. Exciting documentaries and engaging series will also be released during the World Cup. In addition, the ARD Media Center offers a large stock of films, series and documentaries that football fans can easily use during the World Cup. Sports weeks.

ZDF: No “new merchandise” from the round of 16

ZDF is less specific – along with ARD, it is the only free full program that shows a lot of live football during World Cup weeks. However, fantasy premieres are not dispensed with here either, as a ZDF spokesperson reveals: “ZDF pursues the goal of offering the usual attractive range of programming in the busy season and in the lead-up to public holidays. So we broadcast the first broadcasts within the group stage and during matches. Without German participation. This also applies to classes and series at night.”

However, it can be assumed that from December 5th until the end of peak days there will be no new content on ZDF. “From the round of 16, the games are distributed among the rights holders in a short time. For this reason, iterations are planned.” ZDF also refers to the media library. “An engaging and integrated World Cup program is planned at ZDF Media Library across genres: In the fictional region, this includes series such as ‘Alex Rider 2’ and ‘L’Opéra’ as well as Christmas films and several new documentaries.”

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Pro Sieben and Sat.1: “Celebrity Big Brother” for post-games

The Pro-Sieben-Sat.1 group does not show football directly from Qatar and is therefore entirely concerned with the interest of those who do not like football. “In particular, Sat.1 programming follows the condition: if the ball doesn’t roll, we want to invite viewers. So, for the first time, Saturday 1 in summer doesn’t start with the anniversary season,” says Christoph Korver, broadcast spokesperson for Sat 1 and Pro Sieben. “Promi Big Brother.”

However, one tries to avoid live play times here as well. Celebrity Big Brother lights a campfire in front of the TV every night. That’s why we whistle live every day at 10:15pm – when the World Cup matches are over. Plus, we’ll be showing new episodes of ‘Britt – Der Talk’ in the post Noon and “My husband can” episodes the evening before.

On the other hand, Pro Sieben gets sporty, albeit with an egg-shaped ball, for example, the station shows two NFL games every Sunday. “And in December — shortly before the World Cup final,” Korver says, “the World Championships for Autoball are back on TV.” However, some programs pause here during the World Cup: for example “TV total”, “Zervakis & Opdenhövel”. Others have been delayed for a few weeks: “Voice of Germany” started earlier because of the World Cup, but “Go to All” comes a little later.

RTL does not wish to display “massive programs” during live matches

It’s rather covered in regards to the World Cup program on RTL, which also doesn’t show any games. Henning Tewes, COO Program Affairs and Multichannel, notes that specific programs cannot be discussed at this time. Apparently, people in Cologne (re) want to act on short notice.

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However, he also envisions reruns will be more likely during live matches: “We are investing heavily in expanding our content business and offering our audience an engaging program on all channels throughout the year – even during the World Cup. Of course, high-profile programming should not conflict Especially the big audience with the attractive World Cup games.”

German Amazon attack series during the World Cup

As an example of streaming providers’ strategy, we also asked about Amazon’s “program” during the World Cup. Here you can see a clear difference from linear software providers. Since streamers don’t have to think about live times and you can sit with all the shows in empty slots, the German unit of the American group wants to draw attention to itself with its offensive streak, especially during the World Cup.

“Our young viewers in particular always have an appetite for something new and will also be looking for new series and movies about the World Cup matches,” says Caspar Pflüger, Country Director of DACH Prime Video until recently. That is why we started a series of programs in young German formats in November and offer viewers an advantage. New ones are produced in Germany almost every week.”

It starts on November 11 with the second season of the fictitious movie “Die Discounter”, on November 18 Amazon will show the young love movie “Sachertorte”, and on November 30 the comedy series “Love Addicts” with Annette Frier and on December 9 is the feast. The series “Peaceful Christmas”.

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Read more after the announcement

A new broadcast giant starts during the World Cup

Paramount+ runs counter to the cycle of football events. American media group launched its new streaming service Paramount+ – which is already available in the USA and Great Britain – on the German market on Thursday, December 8. With movies like Top Gun: Maverick, the “Star Trek” franchise or a new series like Kevin Costner’s American hit “Yellowstone” including several spin-offs, there’s also plenty of quality in the program outside of football. At Paramount Global, founded in 2019 by the merger of CBS and Viacom, people seem to believe in the success of programs outside of the World Cup – and that’s in Germany.

RND / TV

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