ARTE at a glance
The European culture channel
As the European Culture Channel, ARTE provides cultural programming that fosters understanding among Europeans and brings people together.
Born of a Franco-German partnership, ARTE is non-commercial and receives 95% of its funding from TV licence fees in both countries. ARTE is made up of three units: ARTE GEIE, the headquarters in Strasbourg, is responsible for programming and transmission, while the French and German members, ARTE France in Paris and ARTE Deutschland in Baden-Baden, provide most of the programmes.
Creating a television channel for two audiences was a first in television history and is still an exception in the global TV market today. Since its creation, ARTE has been committed to cultural diversity and multilingualism, convinced that better circulation of European broadcast content can make a considerable contribution to European cultural integration. All programmes go out in French and German. A range of programmes are also available with English, Spanish, Polish and soon Italian subtitles.
ARTE GEIE's headquarters are located in Strasbourg on the Franco-German border, in the vicinity of European institutions. The symbolism of the location is threefold: of success for a TV channel that has carved out its own distinctive identity in the European broadcast landscape, of cooperation between France and Germany and of an enthusiastic and resolute openness to all European nations.
ARTE is committed to sustainable development and to managing energy consumption across all operations at its Strasbourg headquarters. As the first French broadcaster to obtain ISO 50001 certification, ARTE has pledged to take whatever action is needed to achieve a 20% gain in energy efficiency over the period 2014-2020, with 2013 as the baseline. This includes analysing and optimising the broadcaster’s most energy-intensive activities. Much is done to raise staff awareness, and energy is now a key criterion for sourcing policies. From 2014 to 2016, energy performance improved by 15% as a result of these efforts, which reflect the climate change objectives set by the European Union (Directive 2012/27/EU).
How is ARTE funded?
95% public funding
95% of ARTE’s funding comes from licence fee in France and Germany. The channel is not allowed to run advertising, but it can generate some income of its own from other sources, notably sponsorship.
TV licence fees in France and Germany
In France, public service broadcasting is funded by a TV licence fee known since 2009 as the “contribution à l’audiovisuel public”, formerly “redevance audiovisuelle". An annual payment of €138 is collected from all households with a television set. Other devices that can be used to watch TV, like computers and tablets, are not currently affected.
The money is used to finance TV and radio broadcasters in France with a public duty to educate, inform and entertain a broad audience by providing a diverse range of high-quality programmes: France Télévisions, ARTE France, Radio France, Réseau Outre-Mer 1ère, France Media Monde and INA (the National Audiovisual Institute). They are a benchmark for news, audiovisual creation and cultural diversity.