Broadcasting contribution: ARD and ZDF report higher demand – media

The ARD considers between 2.16 and 2.7 percent more to be necessary for its financing from 2025 onwards in terms of personnel and programming. From 2025 onwards, ZDF wants to spend 2.16 percent more on programming and 2.7 percent more on staff. The broadcasters announced this on Friday. Both broadcasters said that this is well below the currently high rate of inflation, and that real inflation will be offset by savings.

ARD currently spends an average of 2.7 billion euros a year on programming and 1.9 billion euros on staff (excluding pension schemes). On average, ZDF gets by on 1.4 billion euros per year for programming and 373 million euros for staff (excluding pension schemes).

Several federal states have already announced that they will not support an increase in contributions. The broadcasting fee is currently 18.36 euros per month.

The amount of the license fee for the years 2025 to 2028 is still to be determined

The procedure in which the contribution amount for the years 2025 to 2028 is determined begins with the so-called notification of need. The requirement notification itself says only a limited amount about how high the new contribution will be in the end. The decisive factor here is the Commission for Determining the Financial Needs of Broadcasters (KEF), staffed by 16 experts appointed by the federal states. It examines the financial wishes of the broadcasters for profitability and economy and determines every four years how high the broadcasting fee must be so that the broadcasters can fulfill their statutory mandate. The development of income from the license fee also plays a role in their calculation. A recommendation from the KEF for the new contribution amount is expected in February next year.

The KEF recommendation must then be unanimously enacted into law by the prime ministers and passed by all state parliaments. The multi-stage procedure is intended to prevent the state from being able to put pressure on the content of broadcasting through funding.

However, in its most recent judgements, the Federal Constitutional Court gave the federal states little leeway to deviate from the KEF recommendation. In August 2021, the court set the blocked by Saxony-Anhalt Contribution increase from 17.50 euros to 18.36 euros; the blockade violates the freedom of broadcasting enshrined in the Basic Law.

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