ARD is the German Association of Public Service Broadcasters. It consists of nine regional public service broadcasters funded by a license fee paid by German households and businesses. The tenth member is "Deutsche Welle" (DW), Germany’s international broadcaster.
ARD’s TV, radio and online services provide the German public with trusted guidance in an increasingly complex globalised world. Values such as professional journalistic standards, programming excellence, independence and accountability are of the utmost importance to us.
Taken together, ARD’s national TV channel, "Das Erste", and regional TV stations make up Germany's most popular television offerings. In addition, the nine ARD members operate more than 50 radio stations. Their cumulative daily reach amounts to more than 39 million listeners, which corresponds to roughly 54% of the German population aged 10 years and older.
Thanks to its network of over 100 foreign correspondents and numerous studio facilities throughout Germany, ARD performs particularly strongly in terms of news, current affairs and documentaries. ARD’s fictional films are among the most successful in Germany.
ARD is also a cultural powerhouse - both in Germany and abroad. This is primarily due to its world-famous classical orchestras, along with its many regional cultural offerings and events.
For more information see: ARD-Brochure (PDF)
Bayerischer Rundfunk – Public Broadcasting for Bavaria
Bayerischer Rundfunk, BR for short, is Bavaria’s public broadcasting service, a member of ARD. BR has around eight million viewers and listeners per day throughout Germany. With ten radio and two television stations, two internationally renowned symphony orchestras, a celebrated chorus and approximately five thousand professionals, we are one of Europe’s most respected broadcast institutions. BR operates broadcast centres in Munich and Nuremberg and twenty-two regional offices throughout Bavaria.
BR makes a significant contribution to the ARD network and has acquired a first-rate international reputation for outstanding feature films and high-quality documentaries. BR productions and co-productions receive more than 100 awards at national and international festivals over the course of a year, among them even the coveted Oscar®. Support for up-and-coming young filmmakers is a particular strength at BR, and the broadcaster has paved the way for many German directors’ first films and thus their careers.
The Bavarian Broadcasting Law sets the following guidelines:
“(The broadcast) should have a democratic orientation and be culturally responsible and be objective in the service of humanity while maintaining the Bavarian character. Bayerischer Rundfunk gives the broadcast audience a complete and objective overview of international, national and Bavarian happenings in all areas of life.”
BR’s mission is defined as
The Numbers behind Bayerischer Rundfunk
- Staff (permanent/freelance): approx. 5,000
- Annual budget: just over €1 bn (2013)
- Daily listeners/viewers in Germany: approx. 8 m
- Radio: market share in Bavaria: 44.4% (2015)
- Bavarian Television: market share in Bavaria: 7.1% (2014)
BR is competing successfully in a very challenging environment. Currently, Bavaria has around 70 private radio stations and approx. 20 local/regional commercial TV stations.
How We Are Governed
Bayerischer Rundfunk was founded in 1949 as a non-profit public-service broadcaster. It is chartered through the Bavarian State Constitution and the Bavarian Broadcasting Law of 1948.
Adherence to the public programming mandate is monitored by a broadcasting council. It consists of representatives of the major organised social groups (e.g. political parties, trade unions, industrial management, churches, youth organisations, universities, cultural institutions). They represent the interests of the public, i.e. of all the listeners and viewers. At the same time, an administrative council monitors the overall activities of BR and its director general.
How We Are Funded
BR’s mission is to deliver programmes aimed at society as a whole. In other words: high-quality, independent, non-commercial programming that provides information, gives advice and entertains, and also accommodates the interests of minority groups. All of this is made possible by license fees, which account for the lion’s share of our funding (2013: approx. 86%). BR also generates revenue from advertising and sponsoring, although this remains a very limited source of income.
License fees are payable regardless of equipment or television/radio usage. A simple rule applies to all consumers: One residence, one fee. Companies and institutions also participate in financing the public broadcasting system.
BR’s Radio Stations
Broadcasting international oldies and classic pop focusing on the ‘70s and ‘80s, regional news, entertainment and advice, Bayern 1 reflects today’s Bavaria like no other radio station, helping to make it one of the most popular in the region.
Bayern 2 is our award-winning station for discriminating listeners. Its mix of in-depth news, cultural, factual and educational programming makes it one of the most successful of its kind in central Europe.
Bayern 3 is our pop music station with a unique mix of the latest news, consumer advice, talk shows, and comedy alongside current hits and classic pop, with special emphasis on Bavarian artists. Each day, over 2.8 million regular listeners tune in nationwide.
BR-Klassik is Germany’s leading radio station for the discerning classical music audience, offering the finest classical and jazz recordings. Listeners enjoy live broadcasts from concert halls and opera houses in Bayreuth, Salzburg or New York plus coverage of cultural events.
But BR-Klassik is more than a radio station. It is the BR brand for the classics and jazz. BR-Klassik offers classical music events for television and online viewing, two outstanding orchestras, a renowned chorus and the concert series “musica viva”. It also includes a CD label.
People tune into B5 aktuell for breaking news. It is one of Germany’s most popular news radio stations featuring 15-minute updates, on-the-ground coverage and live sports events, plus business news and reports on the latest developments in politics and culture.
Puls is BR's interactive platform for a younger audience, delivering the latest in politics and pop culture from Bavaria and the whole world. Puls is available for smartphones using the “deinPuls App”; it can also be accessed by digital radio, on TV and the web (deinpuls.de). Puls showcases bands from Bavaria alongside international newcomers and major acts. The station also broadcasts a weekly TV show on Bayerisches Fernsehen (Bavarian Television) and by webcast.
Bayern plus plays German popular music and international evergreens from the last five decades. Informative magazines provide news and reports on topics such as health, leisure, culture and sport throughout all of Bavaria’s regions and beyond.
BR-Heimat blends tradition with contemporary Bavarian lifestyle and is unique within the German radio landscape. It offers folk music and brass bands, accompanied by topical programmes, talks with interesting guests and reports focusing on Bavaria.
BR’s TV stations
Our regional channel Bayerisches Fernsehen (Bavarian Television) presents Bavaria – and the world beyond – in all their diversity. Its news programme provides information on all the latest developments in Bavaria and across the world. Bayerisches Fernsehen has a long tradition of producing award-winning films, political satire and comedy shows. Programmes featuring a Bavarian outlook and a Bavarian accent make our station unique.
ARD-alpha is the only purely educational TV channel in Germany, featuring shows on school and university education, on vocational training, cutting-edge research and science, and also providing language courses. It includes a large number of programmes on topics of general education. ARD-alpha portrays the world in all its vibrant diversity, bringing home to us how education is more than mere knowledge and skills. ARD-alpha explores, analyzes and explains, helping viewers acquire a better understanding of the world
BR.de - Bayerischer Rundfunk Online
The programmes we show are available worldwide thanks to BR.de. Our website delivers information to complement and add to our radio and TV brands. Its multimedia experience helps enhance our broadcast content. The main focus is on news, education, culture, the arts, BR-Klassik – and Bavaria, of course.
Our internet player, the ‘BR-Mediathek’, allows visitors to access or download a broad selection of recent programmes free of charge. It also comes with a live stream tool for our radio TV channels, Bayerisches Fernsehen (Bavarian Television) and ARD-alpha. Further, BR provides smartphone and tablet apps to access radio and TV broadcasts, as well as the youth-themed platform, Puls.
The Bayerischer Rundfunk Ensembles
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks (the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra) enjoys an excellent reputation across the globe and ranks among the world’s very best. Many of the symphony orchestra’s recordings have received prestigious awards. Mariss Jansons is the orchestra’s chief conductor.
Münchner Rundfunkorchester (the Munich Radio Orchestra) has developed a very distinct artistic profile, due in no small part to its outstanding versatility. Its repertoire spans opera, musicals, modern spiritual music and film scores. The orchestra is particularly concerned to introduce music to a young audience. Ulf Schirmer is the ensemble’s artistic director.
Leonard Bernstein described the Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks (Bavarian Radio Chorus) as “one of the best in the world”. Under its artistic director Peter Dijkstra, the chorus remains internationally renowned for its homogenous sound and stylistic versatility.