COLOGNE, Germany – AMC’s cult favorite The Walking Dead will get a chance to wreak havoc on the lucrative German free TV market. Free-to-air network RTL 2 has secured rights to the zombie series and plans to debut Dead sometime next year. The show currently airs solely on German pay TV channel FOX. Germany’s pay TV market is comparatively small but its’ free TV audience, and advertising market, is the biggest in Western Europe.
The deal for The Walking Dead fits into RTL2’s strategy of programming U.S. pay TV series that target a high-end audience. It’s a strategy that so far has failed to work. RTL 2’s U.S. series highlights, from HBO’s True Blood to Showtime’s Dexter and Californication have consistently underperformed with German free TV audiences.