From 2025: Draft for the broadcasting fee: Commission recommends increase to 18.94 euros

According to preliminary calculations by financial experts, the broadcasting fee should increase by 58 cents from 18.

From 2025: Draft for the broadcasting fee: Commission recommends increase to 18.94 euros

According to preliminary calculations by financial experts, the broadcasting fee should increase by 58 cents from 18.36 euros per month to 18.94 euros from 2025. According to information from the DPA news agency, this emerges from a draft published on Friday by the KEF expert committee. The commission wants to make a final recommendation to the federal states, which have the final say on the amount of contributions, at the beginning of 2024. However, you must closely follow the KEF recommendation.

Public broadcasting from ARD, ZDF and Deutschlandradio is essentially financed from income from the broadcasting fee that households and companies pay. In 2022, 8.4 billion euros were raised for the media companies. The amount of the contribution is set in an international treaty, which all states must agree to unanimously.

There is a risk of conflict with the recommendation for an increase in the contribution, which has now become more likely. Several prime ministers made it clear weeks and months ago that they would not support an increase because they did not see the population accepting it. If these states oppose an increase, it is to be expected that the dispute could end up before the Federal Constitutional Court.

The country leaders who are against a plus repeatedly refer to the scandal at the ARD broadcaster Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (RBB). In the summer of 2022, the broadcaster plunged into a deep crisis amid allegations of nepotism and waste. There were personnel consequences at the top. The Berlin Public Prosecutor's Office is still investigating. There is also a committee of inquiry running in the Brandenburg state parliament.

But there are also other voices in the countries. Criticism also came from the media industry towards the country heads, who had already committed themselves to contribution stability. Reason: They had already done it at an early stage - while the KEF calculations were ongoing - and thus virtually anticipated the result. The review of financial needs is organized independently of the state by the KEF.

The public broadcasters point out that costs have risen solely due to inflation. There was talk of a moderate registration of financial needs for the years 2025 to 2028. The current period runs until the end of 2024, at least until then the monthly broadcasting fee of 18.36 euros applies.

The Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe had already been involved in the last change. ARD, ZDF and Deutschlandradio had sued because the state of Saxony-Anhalt had opposed an increase. There was no necessary vote in the state parliament in Magdeburg. At that time, however, Saxony-Anhalt under Prime Minister Reiner Haseloff (CDU) stood alone. At that time - unlike this time - all other federal states were prepared to agree to the increase. In the end, the Federal Constitutional Court put the 86 cent increase from 17.50 euros to 18.36 euros into effect and reprimanded Saxony-Anhalt.

The broadcasting fee is part of the structure that the federal states set for public broadcasting through state treaties. In it they describe the rough structure of the houses, the control mechanisms with a view to economical use of the money from broadcasting fees and the mission that the broadcasters are supposed to fulfill for society. It's not about specific program content. The states have no influence on this because freedom of the press and broadcasting applies in Germany under the Basic Law. The order also determines the financial requirements of the houses, which they submit to the KEF for review.

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