Germany's Top Model The Heidi Klum No Show

The bomb threat that abruptly ended the live televised finale of "Germany's Next Top Model" could see serious programming changes and financial consequences for the troubled show, which has been steadily losing viewers.
The show was over before it really began.

There were no winners in “Germany’s Next Top Model” television show on Thursday night.

Instead of presenting a radiant, beautiful winner, Heidi Klum could only offer a regretful Tweet. “The evening unfortunately did not end as I had wished,” the host of the ProSieben show tweeted after the finale was cut short because of a bomb threat.

Ms. Klum could have tweeted the same message on behalf of executives at the parent company, ProSiebenSat.1 Media.

Apart from a further blow to the show's poor ratings, the broadcaster could face some financial consequences, especially from its adverstisers. All the commercial slots were full, with names like Opel, Maybelline and Procter & Gamble. Whether they are prepared to run their commercials at another time or even claim damages remains unclear.

A ProSieben spokesman said the broadcaster is in talks with the companies but declined to disclose any details.


Video: Bomb threat clears top model finale.

The capital market quickly responded: The ProSiebenSat.1 share price dropped 1.5 percent on Friday to below €46, or $53.

ProSieben initially interrupted the live televised finale in the SAP Arena in Munich on Thursday night, citing technical problems. Then, the television station announced a bomb threat by a woman who phoned in and ordered the 8,500 guests to clear the building.

The police searched the arena but found no bomb.

The interupted broadcast has already prompted ProSieben to introduce a programming change: The station will no longer televise the finale of a series live, according to a company source.

The finale of Germany's Next Top Model has been rescheduled to air on May 28, ProSieben said. Its production location, however, is still not determined.

Frank Behrendt, the head of the media consultancy Fischer-Appelt, expects fewer shows to be televised live in the future because of the added cost of insuring them against risk. But given the huge viewership of the top model finales in the past and their considerable advertiser support, he warned of a canned production having as much appeal.

Rival broadcaster RTL responded immediately to the bomb scare and increased security for its live broadcast "'Germany Searches the Superstar" on Saturday night. The station received no bomb threats.

Until now, broadcasters have taken no special security precaustions for their live shows. Mr. Behrendt expects they will now be forced to increase security, resulting in higher production costs.

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Hans-Peter Siebenhaar is Handelsblatt's correspondent in Vienna and covers the media sector. Catrin Bialek covers companies and markets in Düsseldorf. To contact the authors: [email protected] and [email protected]