Red Bull’s Servus TV closes over economic woes

Red Bull Media House is closing Austrian channel Servus TV as the network has become “economically unsustainable”.

The channel launched in 2009, but citing “the diligence of a prudent businessman” Red Bull said it is ceasing operations.

The Servus magazine that sat alongside the channel is unaffected by the news, which Red Bull founder Dietrich Mateschitz announced today.

“The changes in the global media market support us in this decision because digital [services] can offer classic, linear programmes,” he said, adding that despite heavy investment Servus TV had failed to take off.

The network has been a significant buyer and commissioner of content in Austria, meaning its closure will deliver a hit to local producers.

According to local press reports, Servus’s 246 employees have alreadybeen notified of the closure.

Wals-Siezenheim-based Servus launched seven years ago after Red Bull had rebranded Salzburg TV, which it had acquired the shares in 2007 after a bankruptcy proceeding. It was available in Austria and some German cities, including Berlin.

Red Bull is expected to launch a linear channel in the UK this year.