The broadcasting fee in Germany is 18.36 euros per month. In the opinion of ARD boss Kai Gniffke, however, this is not enough, he pleads for an increase.
Munich – The broadcasting fee and its increase have been a controversial topic for some time. Currently, the contribution is 18.36 euros per month for households and companies. The current contribution period runs until the end of 2024. There has been a lot of speculation about increases in recent months. ARD chairman Kai Gniffke has now spoken out in favour of an increase in the broadcasting fee.
"We will fight for an increase in contributions," said the 62-year-old on Tuesday (6 June) at the digital trade fair Republica in a question-and-answer session in Berlin. It is questionable whether this will happen, because: The ARD boss does not have the last word in this matter. Gniffke also did not mention an amount when asked.
ARD boss wants to increase the broadcasting fee: federal states have the last word in the matter
The final amount of the broadcasting fee is not decided by the broadcasters, but by the prime ministers of the federal states and an independent panel of experts in a multi-stage process. In the first step, the broadcasters determine their respective financial requirements for a certain period of time.
According to media reports, the public broadcasters of ARD, ZDF and Deutschlandradio recently sent their financial planning for the years after 2024 to the Finance Commission, which is reviewing and adjusting the plans. This commission is then expected to recommend a level of the broadcasting fee next year, and the federal states will have the last word on the matter. Several prime ministers have made it clear in recent weeks that they would not support an increase in contributions.
What exactly is the broadcasting fee?
The broadcasting fee is used to finance the public broadcasters in Germany, i.e. ARD, ZDF and Deutschlandradio. In 2013, it replaced the former GEZ fees. The biggest difference between the broadcasting fee and the GEZ fee is who has to pay the fee.
Most recently, Saxony-Anhalt's head of state, Reiner Haseloff (CDU), spoke out against an increase in the broadcasting fee. In the distribution area of the MDR alone, there are already 350,000 non-payers, "with every unjustified fee increase, there will certainly be more," he told Bild am Sonntag.
|Total revenue from broadcasting fees in Germany|
|Source: Annual reports of the Contribution Service|
Broadcasting fee: resources to fulfil the task of being a public service broadcaster
ARD boss Gniffke, who is also director of Südwestrundfunk, said resources were needed to fulfill ARD's task as a public broadcaster. The so-called public service programme mandate is anchored in the relevant legal basis and provides for programmes to offer viewers and listeners comprehensive and balanced information, education, culture and entertainment.
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"Program always means people who do it," says Gniffke. In the opinion of the ARD boss, it would therefore be irresponsible to simply lay off 1000 people. With regard to employee pay, Gniffke cited, among other things, price developments.
ARD chairman Kai Gniffke has spoken out in favour of an increase in the broadcasting fee. (Archive image) © Bernd Weißbrod/dpa
At the same time, the ARD boss also emphasized: "I know how society thinks and talks about us," which is why he wants to become more efficient. It is important to leverage efficiency reserves. The ARD houses are currently exploring a much stronger cooperation in TV and radio programs in order to reduce duplicate structures. (hg/dpa)