German public broadcaster ZDF is discussing the possibility of creating a huge theme park on its property in Mainz. Several hundred people already visit a park area in front of the ZDF studios daily, where various summer outdoor TV shows such as ZDF-Fernsehgarten and 701, a new afternoon show, are produced.
ZDF has commissioned a study to determine the feasibility of turning the site into a full-fledged theme park. Axel Beyer, head of entertainment programs at ZDF, Rudi Soelch, head of administration, and Werner Schwaderlapp, head of the distribution company, ZDF Enterprises, are leading the study. If the project were to go ahead, it would be the first of its kind in Germany.
Not much is being said officially about the project, but rumors coming from ZDF suggest the broadcaster is thinking about creating a small-scale Disneyland, and that orders for carousels have already been made. It is unclear whether ZDF will bring in a partner for the project.
‘We want to strengthen our connection to the viewers,’ says Schwaderlapp. ‘Apart from that, there are also economical aspects that are important.’
Financing, it appears, will not come from the fees German TV viewers have to pay for the public stations. ‘A part of the study shall answer the question of how the installation of the park can relieve the TV fees or even cofinance the costs of some programs,’ says Schwaderlapp.