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ZDF Enterprises acquires Off the Fence B.V.

Mainz and Amsterdam, 8th January 2019

ZDF Enterprises today announced it has signed an agreement to acquire a 100 % stake in Dutch leading non-fiction content company Off the Fence B.V.. CEO and Founder Ellen Windemuth will stay in office as CEO of the Off the Fence group.

Founded in 1994, the Off the Fence group produces and distributes exceptional factual programming on a global scale. CEO Ellen Windemuth is also the Chairperson of the Jackson Hole Wildlife Summit, one of the most prestigious natural history and conservation festivals in the world.

Off the Fence Productions is an award-winning, independent producer of factual television and digital cinema content, which is broadcast worldwide. The production company has created more than 500 hours of television content for a wide range of international broadcasters including History Channel, MTV, BBC, Channel 4, MSNBC, PBS, National Geographic Channel, Discovery, The Weather Channel and ZDF. The films aim to give a fresh perspective and high production values across a range of genres that include: science, history, adventure, human stories, and natural history. Their quality has been recognised by more than 80 awards, including Royal Television Society, Emmy, Golden Panda and Grand Teton.

Off the Fence Distribution is one of the world's leading independent factual distribution company with a catalogue of over 6,500 hours of diverse programming across Wildlife, Science, History, Travel, People & Culture and Lifestyle genres. With sales offices in Amsterdam, London, Cape Town and Mainz, Off the Fence has a truly international footprint.

Ellen Windemuth, CEO of Off the Fence B.V.: ‘We are very excited to join such a clever and dynamic group.  We have worked closely together for twenty years, and there is a lot of mutual respect. We have developed a synergistic common strategy, and I look forward to realizing it together.’

Fred Burcksen, President and CEO of ZDF Enterprises added:  ‘Ellen has been a valued partner of ZDF Enterprises in general and for ZDFE.unscripted in particular  for many years. We have always admired her innovative strength, creative spirit and economical power. For all of us, it was the next logical step in our partnership to join forces and networks in order to enable us to jointly be even more successful in the future.’


About Off the Fence

Established in 1994, Off the Fence is an independent television distribution and production company, specialising in non-fiction programming for the international marketplace. The production business is known internationally for its dedication to high quality, integrity and innovation. Off the Fence develops, finances, produces and co-produces international non-fiction programmes across a range of genres including natural history, science, health, adventure, history and social documentaries.

This has resulted in the production of more than 500 hours of programming in the past 10 years and the winning over 80 awards (including nominations for two Emmys). In 2018 Off the Fence Productions ranked number 14 in the Televisual Production 100 True Indies Survey.

For more information, please visit or contact Ellen Windemuth, CEO,  ( or Ludo Dufour, Managing Director of Sales and Co-Productions, (


About ZDF Enterprises
ZDF Enterprises was founded in 1993 as a commercial subsidiary of ZDF, one of the largest and most renowned TV broadcasters in Europe. Headquartered in Mainz, Germany, ZDF Enterprises is responsible for the worldwide sale of programs, the making of international coproductions, the acquisition of licenses as well as the merchandising of strong program brands in its own name, for the ZDF, and for third parties. ZDF Enterprises has successfully established itself as an independent market player on the German and international stage. Bound into a strong group, the company manages the largest German-language stock of programs in the world and, next to this, a continuously growing portfolio of international productions consisting of series and miniseries, TV movies, documentaries and children’s programs. In the course of the development and diversification process carried out up to now, many business fields in the television and media domains were made accessible in the ZDF Enterprises group. Thus ZDF Enterprises can provide a comprehensive, full-service offering today, and covers every step in the chain of origin and exploitation of successful TV programs, from development to production and up to the marketing of TV licenses, merchandising rights, online rights and much more.

For further information on ZDF Enterprises, please contact Christine Denilauler Tel.: +49 6131-9911130,



Christine Denilauler

Christine Denilauler

Vice President Marketing and Corporate Communications

+49 (0) 6131 / 991–1130
+49 (0) 6131 / 991–2130
ZDF Enterprises GmbH
Erich-Dombrowski-Str. 1
55127 Mainz | Germany


Ellen Windemuth, Founder and CEO of Off the Fence B.V.