WDR Fernsehen is a regional public service television station owned & operated by Westdeutscher Rundfunk and serving North Rhine-Westphalia. It is one of the seven regional "third programmes" that are offered within the federal ARD network.
The station began broadcasting on December 17, 1965 as Westdeutsches Fernsehen (WDF), changing its name to West 3 in 1988, before settling for WDR Fernsehen in 1994.
Inititally, the channel was only available in North Rhine-Westphalia, but has become available across Germany with the launch of cable and satellite television. The station is also available free-to-air across Europe via Astra 19.2°E.
WDR Fernsehen operates eleven sub-regional opt-out services, each broadcasting a 30-minute local news programme entitled Lokalzeit at 7:30pm every night with a short news update at 6pm on weekday evenings.