TV licence fees in France and Germany
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.
In France, public service broadcasting is funded by a TV licence fee. An annual payment of €138 in Metropole France and €88 in Overseas France 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 Médias Monde and INA (the National Audiovisual Institute). They are a benchmark for news, audiovisual creation and cultural diversity.
Funding for ARTE France, as for the other public channels, is governed by a contract signed with the State, the “COM”, which sets out goals and resources for a four-year period. The specific breakdown is then approved annually by Parliament when it votes on the national budget. The COM for the period 2017-2021, concluded between ARTE France and the ministries responsible for culture and communication, the economy and the public accounts reflects strong support for ARTE’s editorial and digital strategy. Adopting the established procedure, the draft prepared by ARTE France with input from the Management Board of ARTE GEIE was first submitted for approval to the Works Council and Supervisory Board of ARTE France, and also to the Cultural and Financial Affairs Committees of the National Assembly and Senate, the two chambers of the French parliament.
In Germany, the licence fee is called the Rundfunkbeitrag. It is the main source of funding for public broadcasters, notably the ARD’s regional networks, ZDF, Deutschlandradio, and their partners and digital formats. The system was reformed in 2013. Every household now pays a monthly flat rate of €17.50, regardless of the number and type of devices used. Private companies and public institutions also contribute. The fee is collected by the Beitragsservice, a shared service set up by ARD, ZDF and Deutschlandradio to replace the old GEZ, formerly responsible for the collection and remission of licence fees and checking people’s declarations.
The amount is proposed by an independent committee (KEF), whose task is to evaluate the financial requirements of public broadcasters. ARTE Deutschland participates in this process, assisting the committee with its financial analysis and contributing to specialised workshops. It is then up to Germany’s federal states to establish the fee in law. The current Inter-State Broadcasting Treaty governs funding for public broadcasters in Germany during four years, actually the period 2017-2020.
ARTE GEIE: Legally and financially independent ARTE is a GEIE/EEIG, or European Economic Interest Grouping. The two members of this grouping are ARTE France and ARTE Deutschland TV GmbH. These three bodies are all legally independent, and each one publishes its own financial position, income statement and management report. ARTE GEIE is thus a financially autonomous, self-governing entity.
French and German programme input
The two members contribute an equal volume of programmes, which may be in-house productions or commissioned work. The breakdown depends on the organization of the public service broadcasting and the production procedures in use in France and Germany. Each member provides 40% of the programme input. The remaining 20% come from ARTE GEIE and the European partners.
French and German contributions to the ARTE GEIE budget
ARTE GEIE is financed equally by its French and German members.They are also represented at the General Assembly, where they vote on the ARTE GEIE budget.
|Annual statement of ARTE GEIE in million euros (2020)|
|Income||Contribution from ARTE France
Contribution from ARTE Deutschland
As a public channel, ARTE does not run any advertising, but may generate some income of its own.
The lighting optimisation project at the ARTE GEIE head office is being co-financed by the European Union as part of the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) Operational Programme 2014-2020.
It aims to reduce electricity consumption by adopting LED technology for the lighting in the main studio and for floor lamps in the offices.
Expected project costs: €523,465
ERDF financing: €51,569.27
Grand Est region financing: €51,569.27
Own funds: €412,554.15