95% publicly funded

ARTE is a public service broadcaster that is 95% funded by France and Germany, each of which has their own specific funding arrangements for public service broadcasting. In France, public service broadcasting is currently funded through a fraction of VAT proceeds, whereas in Germany, the main source of funding for its public service channels is the licence fee. ARTE does not run advertising, other than for public interest campaigns, but may generate some income of its own, in particular through sponsorship arrangements.

Based in Strasbourg and comprised of two members – ARTE France and ARTE Deutschland TV GmbH – with equal responsibility for publishing and content, the channel is a European Economic Interest Grouping (GEIE). The Strasbourg headquarters is funded equally by both members, who also each deliver 40 % of ARTE programmes, which they produce or purchase according to the specific public service broadcasting arrangements and production methods in use in France and Germany. The remaining 20 % comes from the Strasbourg headquarters and European partner channels. The three bodies are all legally independent, and each one publishes its own financial position, income statement and management report.

ARTE GEIE also receives subsidies from the European Union to enable subtitling and broadcasting of programmes for its digital offer in English, Spanish, Polish and Italian.

ARTE France and ARTE Deutschland are subject to the respective funding arrangements applying to the French and German public service broadcasters.

Public service broadcasting funding in France and Germany

In France, the Supplementary Budget Act (LFR) of 2022 abolished the licence fee that used to be levied annually on households with a television set. It has been replaced by a transfer of a fraction of VAT proceeds until the end of 2024. It is used to fund the following public television and radio broadcasting organisations: France Télévisions, ARTE France, Radio France, France Médias Monde and the Institut national de l’audiovisuel. Their mission is to offer a wide range of quality programming to the widest possible audience, with the aim of educating, informing and entertaining. They are a benchmark for news, audiovisual media creation and cultural diversity. Each of these public service broadcasting organisations – including ARTE France – has concluded a multiannual contract (COM) with the French State, setting out the company’s strategy and the resources allocated.

In Germany, the licence fee (Rundfunkbeitrag) is the main source of funding for public service broadcasters ARD and ZDF – both members of ARTE Deutschland – and their regional and digital channels as well as public service radio stations.
The licence fee collection system was overhauled in 2013 and applies to all households as well as to private companies and public institutions. The flat rate of €18.36 per month per household applies regardless of size or the number and type of devices used. The “Beitragsservice”, a body run by ARD, ZDF and Deutschlandradio, has replaced the GEZ, which was previously responsible for collecting the fee and checking the accuracy of household declarations.
The KEF (Independent Commission for the Assessment of the Financial Requirements of Public Service Broadcasters), as its name suggests, examines the requirements of public service channels for a period of four years and makes a recommendation to the Länder governments, which together determine the amount of the licence fee. This decision has to be validated by the different regional parliaments and is then ratified by the Inter-Länder Treaty on Broadcasting Financing.

ARTE Deutschland is the KEF’s main contact in the needs assessment process for public service broadcasting, as well as in the preliminary working group discussions.

The ARTE GEIE headquarters budget

ARTE headquarters, Strasbourg

ARTE headquarters in Strasbourg © Patrick Bogner


The ARTE GEIE headquarters in Strasbourg is financially and managerially independent. It is financed equally by its French and German members, who are represented at the General Assembly and vote on the GEIE budget.

Income Contribution from ARTE France
Contribution from ARTE Deutschland
Own income
Expenditure Programmes
Non-programme expenditure
Programme-related expenditure
European projects
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ARTE is a public service broadcaster and does not run advertising, but it may generate some income of its own, in particular through sponsorship arrangements. Sponsorship partners are selected with the utmost care and have no influence on programming. Any income generated through sponsorship is allocated to the programme budget.

More information on sponsoring at ARTE →


20 February 2023