Broadcast fee

public broadcasting corporations finance themselves world-wide particularly by the broadcast fee, which are raised as obligation delivery from operators of appropriate receivers ( above all televisions and radios). Model for all public broadcasting corporations and of them through raised fees secured national independence is the British BBC.

Table of contents

broadcast fees in Europe

most states of Europe have public or broadcast similarly placed, which is financed in Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Great Britain, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Malta, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, Slovenia and Tschechien just like in Germany over obligatorily raised broadcast fees. The broadcast fee is drawn in either by the broadcasting corporations themselves or organizations similar to the GEZ. The broadcast fees in Germany are after those from Denmark, Switzerland and Austria fourth-highest Europe. In nearly all other European states there is taxfinanced national broadcast.

Country fee important public
broadcasting corporations
Germany 204 euro/year (starting from April 2005) pool of broadcasting corporations, Second Channel of German Television, Germany radio
Europe (average
of the countries with broadcast fee)
184 euro/year --
Great Britain 126.50 GBP /Jahr (approx. 182 euro) BBC
Denmark 2410 DKK /Jahr (approx. 322,63 euro) --
Finland 193.95 euro/year --
France 116 euro/year France Télévisions
Italy 93.20 euro/year RAI
Ireland 152 euro/year --
Japan approx. 24000 Yen /Jahr (approx. 170 euro) NHK
Luxembourg none --
Norway 1969 NOC /Jahr (approx. 249 euro) --
Austria 240 - 300 euro/year ORF
Switzerland CHF 450,35/Jahr (approx. 286 euro) SRG


the fees (in Germany the contributions are actually deliver legal) do not contribute to the financing of the order regulated by the broadcast state contract to the basic supply by the public broadcasting corporations . A part of the fees becomes and. A. to the financing of the administrative machinery of the supervisory authorities for the private broadcast ( the institutes for national medium) as well as to the financing of the GEZ (2003: 1.97%) use.

For the determination of the height of this fee first an expert commission (commission for the determination of the financial requirement of the broadcasting corporations ( KEF) determines) that sum, which the institutes need for inventory protection and development, which are to be guaranteed according to Federal Constitutional Court. The conference of Prime Minister decides then on this basis on the height of the fee. Before a change of the broadcast fee can step inkraft, only all state parliaments must agree.

With some exceptions is in principle each owner operational receiver (and/or. one at small expenditure receiver which can be made operationally) obligates to pay broadcast fees. The past remission for “new receivers” (z. B. Internet PC or Internetable mobile telephone) ends to 1 with that. January 2007. This obligation to pay also without use of the programs and starting from 2007 also for otherwise used and vocationally indispensable devices, is an emphasis of the criticism at the system of the public broadcast financing.

Fee development 1953 1970 1974 1979 1983 1988 1990 1992 1997 2001 (2002) 2005
basic charges 2.00 DM 2.50 DM 3.00 DM 3.80 DM 5.05 DM 5.16 DM 6.00 DM 8.25 DM 9.45 DM 10.40 DM (5,32 €) 5.52 €
licence fee 5.00 DM 6.00 DM 7.50 DM 9.20 DM 11.20 DM 11.44 DM 13.00 DM 15.55 DM 18.80 DM 21.18 DM (10,83 €) 11.51 €
inclusive fee 7.00 DM 8.50 DM 10.50 DM 13.00 DM 16.25 DM 16.60 DM 19.00 DM 23.80 DM 28.25 DM 31.58 DM (16,15 €) 17.03 €

broadcast fees are raised in principle for each individual receiver, for private households exists however a large secondary equipment release. The monthly basic charges for holding ready broadcast recording devices amount to 5.52 €, the additional licence fee amount to 17.03 € (conditions: 1. April 2005).

In the commercial range, within which to conventional receivers no secondary equipment release applies, basic charges are therefore to be paid in each case and for each television set a licence fee for each radio. Are present excluding TV home receivers, then basic charges are to be paid as well as for each TV home receiver a licence fee.


The diagram shows the inflation-adjusted development of the fees since its introduction 1953. Therefore the fees lay 1996 related to the purchasing power under the conditions of 1953, in the following five years however around approximately 20 per cent rose (2002 did not take place Gebührenänderung, it only the amounts converted with the euro - introduction to the better comparison are represented).

Here it is to be considered that the authorized budget of the broadcasting corporations is distributed on the charge counters. There the number of chargeable ones in the second half 20. Century rose steadily (z. B. Radios of 6 million 1948 on 16 million 1960 and/or. Television sets of 1 million 1957 on 4 million 1960 and until 1969 annually on the average around 1.300.000), could remain alike the fees for the individual participant - despite inflation conditioned purchasing power losses and continuously rising budgets of the institutes - over years. After the households in the Federal Republic of Germany as far as possible (98%) with broadcast recording and/or. Television sets equipped and far rising numbers of participants in the private households over it are not attainable, approaches the fee development again the budget paste run gene on. A weakening of this development is by new transmission paths (Internet) and the inclusion of further receivers (internet PC, etc. accompanying with obtain).

Gebühren-Entwicklung in Gehalts-%

Accordingly the fee portion of an average employee content of well 0.45% (basic charges) sank and/or. 1.55% (inclusive licence fee) in the year 1957 (monthly gross income Ø: Men 576 DM/Mrs. 316 DM and approx. 1 Mill. Television sets) on approx. 0.15% and/or. 0.5% in the year 1976 (monthly gross income Ø: Men 2,520 DM/Mrs. 1,570 DM and television density 93%) and remained the same since then about, the increases in charges corresponded since 1976 to the content development to a large extent. Regarding entire act (2004 = 6,718, 5 millions €) the public broadcasting corporations are however still the rising incomes from advertising and utilization produced material to consider.


the broadcast fee is to be paid, as soon as one possesses appropriate receivers (radio or television or both). It is independent whether one can receive the programs of the Austrian broadcast or wants or whether one uses the receivers differently. For car radios a fee was to be never paid. In addition, for some years no grant must be carried.

In Austria the broadcast fee for a combined radio and television registration consists of the following positions:

  • Program payment (approx. 67%): That is that amount, which benefits the operator of the television and broadcast programs. The amount is specified by a Federal law, i.e. the broadcast fee law including the associated broadcast fee order. After there is the ORF in Austria only as public broadcast, only this refers these repays.
  • Radio and licence fee (approx. 8 %): Goes to the Federal Ministry for finances as fee for the enterprise of the receipt mechanisms.
  • Art promotion contribution (approx. 2,5 %): Goes to the Austrian Office of the Federal Chancellor (60%), to the Federal Ministry for education, science and culture (10%) and to the Lands of the Federal Republic (30%).
  • National delivery (approx. 11,5 %): Height and intended purpose are specified by the Lands of the Federal Republic themselves.
  • A elevation remuneration (approx. 2,5 %): Service ( GIS) benefits being entitled info., which is responsible as an independent society for the a lifting and distributing the funds.
  • Procedure administrative remuneration (approx. 1,5%): Serves the appropriate federation and national places for the expenditure cover for appointment procedures in connection with the broadcast fee.
  • Value added tax (approx. 7%): It becomes at a value of 10% on the program payment enter above. The remaining contributions and deliveries are value added tax-free.

The percentages indicate an average value at the sum total which can be paid, which however from Land of the Federal Republic to Land of the Federal Republic can vary.

At present (summers 2006) is to be paid for a combined television and radio grant in Austria a broadcast fee from approximately 18 to 22 euro per month. This tariff applies to a house or a dwelling. To enterprises, which set up several apparatuses in an enterprise, special arrangements apply.

It becomes again and again criticism loud that for other private broadcasting corporations no program payment becomes enter above. It will however hold out to that that the ORF has to carry out a legal order for education as well as a duty to supply information. In this order for education many transmissions are contained, which achieve not as high ratingses due to their special contents for individual listener or Sehergruppen (“minority programs”) as commercial programs and therefore also not always generate the incomes from advertising, in order to finance the enterprise. This income loss is to become balanced by parts of the broadcast fee. In view of that increasingly commercially regard many critics this reason did not orient program organization of the ORF as well as ever more numerous advertising engagements to the a elevation of the fee however than sound.

Under certain conditions, like minimum pension, care money purchase, if the household income very down is, can be granted a remission.


each household, in which at least one television or a radio is located, is chargeable. The fees amount to independent of the number of claimant devices per household and month CHF 14.10 (only radio), CHF 23.45 (only TV) and/or. CHF 37.55 (radio and TV). The commercial fees amount to CHF 18.65 (radio) and/or. CHF 31.10 (TV) or CHF 49.75 (radio and TV) and is only once raised per location. The fees are charged for on behalf the federation quarterly by the company Billag.

Excluded from the obligation to pay households are fundamental, in which a person lives, who receives auxiliary achievements to its IV - or AHV - pension.

The fees predominantly go to the SRG for public program contents and to the Swisscom for the terrestrial spreading. For instance CHF 9 million are aligned per year at private radio and TV-organizers. At present (2005) a debate takes place to increase this amount substantial in the parliament.

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