Red Bull chief Dietrich Mateschitz suddenly closes his TV station

Red Bull founder and Formula 1 team owner Dietrich Mateschitz is to pull the plug on his private television channel ServusTV by the end of June

Red Bull chief Dietrich Mateschitz suddenly closes his TV station

Mateschitz has cited the financial burden of running the station as "unbearable" after spending a minimum of €100million per year since it was founded in 2009.

Another factor behind the surprise move is a claim by Mateschitz of the recent circulation of an email "outside ServusTV" asking employees to vote internally on the formation of a representation of employees supported by unions, the latter much disliked by the 71-year-old.

Mateschitz's move highlights the fact he is capable of making sudden emotional decisions, as was almost the case last year when he came close to withdrawing Red Bull from F1 given the engine furore that surrounded the team.

Just a few weeks ago, Mateschitz assured the 264 employees of the company's future within Red Bull Media House in Salzburg.

In February, ServusTV signed a three-year contract with Dorna to televise MotoGP live in Austria, with its presentation team including former racers Andy Meklau and Alex Hofmann.

Just last month the station also extended its contract with the Austrian Ice Hockey League (EBEL) for a further three years through to 2018-19, with an option to continue until 2021.

The future of both deals is now unclear.

Speaking to Autosport, Mateschitz said: "All explanations are given. There is no more to add."

Mateschitz has stated that for now ServusTV will continue to run its regular programming for a number of weeks.

On Tuesday night the employees of ServusTV began an initiative to persuade Mateschitz to reconsider his decision, stressing they would need no representation or union.

Mateschitz has so far not responded.

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