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Revenues remain stable
This is how much ARD and ZDF take in through the broadcasting fee
Cologne – Broadcasting fees are the most important source of income for ARD, ZDF and Deutschlandradio. There were hardly any consequences for the level of revenues in the Corona year 2020, as the balance sheet now shows. But that could change in 2021.
The income from the broadcasting contribution in Germany has remained stable in the Corona year 2020. They rose by 0.5 percent to a total of 8.11 billion euros, as the contribution service of ARD, ZDF and Deutschlandradio announced in Cologne on Tuesday. In 2019, it had been 8.07 billion euros. Since 2017 (7.97 billion), revenues have been increasing slightly. The broadcasting fee is levied per household, companies also pay. At the same time, there are exemptions. The contribution amount per household is 17.50 euros per month. The contribution is the main source of income for ARD, ZDF and Deutschlandradio. The federal states set the level by state treaty. The Federal Constitutional Court is currently hearing complaints from the public broadcasters because, contrary to the wishes of most of the states, the level of contributions was not raised to the 1. January rose to 18.36 euros. The Contribution Service, as the administrative association of public broadcasters, expects the Corona crisis to have a noticeable impact on revenues this year, depending on the extent and duration of the pandemic. There were no effects on the number of citizens exempt from the broadcasting fee because of their financial situation, at least in 2020. The figure at the end of the year was just under 2.6 million citizens, around 2.3 percent below the previous year's figure. Around two-thirds of those freed are reported to be drawing Hartz IV benefits.
Broadcasting contribution for ARD and ZDF: This is how you can be exempted
The fact that there were no effects on the exemptions in the Corona crisis in 2020 is also explained by the contribution service as follows: if you lose your job, you usually first receive unemployment benefit I and are therefore not yet entitled to an exemption. At the same time, the Contribution Service expects the number of Hartz IV recipients to rise from 2021 onwards. Contribution service already feeling pandemic effects in commercial sector in 2020. In the crisis, certain companies have the option of being exempted if, for example, the business premises had to be completely closed due to the pandemic. The November lockdown reportedly led to an increase in the number of applications for exemption. "With cut-off date 31. December, the Contribution Service had exempted a total of 1412 business premises from the obligation to pay the contribution due to a closure ordered by law or by the authorities because of Corona."In 2021, the number could therefore increase significantly once again, because the application is retroactive. The number of households in Germany registered for the premium fell by 0.5 percent in 2020 to around 39.7 million, according to the data.
They account for the bulk of the contribution accounts. The approximately 8.1 billion euros in revenues were distributed in this way: Around 7.96 billion went to ARD, ZDF and Deutschlandradio. Of this, the lion's share is accounted for by the nine ARD stations with a good 5.7 billion euros, followed by ZDF with a good 2 billion, and Deutschlandradio with just under 232 million. In addition, the state media authorities received around 153 million euros. They are the media regulators for private broadcasting in Germany. Within the ARD broadcasters, Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR), then Sudwestrundfunk (SWR), followed by Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR) get the biggest shares. They are also the largest ARD.