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Definition of ARD Radio

What Is "ARD"?

ARD ("Arbeitsgemeinschaft der oeffentlich-rechtlichen Rundfunkanstalten Deutschlands") is a collaboration of currently nine independent public broadcasting corporations established by states or groups of states, in addition to the federal broadcasting corporation Deutsche Welle. ARD was founded in 1950, and as a whole, it provides all parts of the Federal Republic of Germany with television and radio programs. ARD consists of the following member stations.
Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR)headquartered in Munich
Hessischer Rundfunk (HR)headquarteted in Frankfurt
Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk (MDR)headquartered in Leipzig
Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR)headquartered in Hamburg
Radio Bremen (RB)headquartered in Bremen
Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (RBB)headquartered in Berlin and Potsdam
Saarlaendischer Rundfunk (SR)hearquartered in Saarbruecken
Suedwestrundfunk (SWR)headquartered in Stuttgart
Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR)headquartered in Cologne
Deutsche Welle (DW)headquartered in Berlin and Bonn

As Germany's external broadcaster, Deutsche Welle produces programs for a worldwide audience in 30 languages for television, radio, and the Internet.

An additional public radio station called Deutschlandradio airs two radio programs nationally:

Deutschlandfunk (DLF), based in Cologne, and
Deutschlandradio Kultur (DLR), based in Berlin.

ARD and a natonwide, public TV corporation called ZDF jointly finance and administrate Deutschlandradio.

Since they are under public control, the regional broadcasting corporations are independent from state control. Serving the general public is their only obligation. Germany has a dual system, in which public and private commercial broadcasting coexist. Within this system, ARD defines its main goal as providing the German population with information, education, and entertainment.

Public broadcasting corporations' adherence to the public programming mandate is monitored by broadcasting councils. They consist of elected representatives of the major organized groups in society (e.g. labor, industrial management, churches).

The regional public broadcast corporations jointly contribute to ARD's "First German Television" and several "Third Programs." In addition, ARD or individual ARD member stations join forces with non-member stations to provide further TV programming that can be received either terrestrially, via cable, or via satellite.

Each state-based member corporation offers at least four radio programs that differ in format and target group. These programs can be received in the state where an individual station is based, as well as in neighboring states. Some radio programs are split up in regions. The audiences of individual ARD member stations overlap. Therefore the whole Federal Republic of Germany is provided with a wide choice of comprehensive, versatile public radio programs.

ARD member corporations also host a large number of cultural events, either alone or in collaboration with other organizations. These events range from art exhibitions to pop concerts. Music events have a particular high priority. Togehter, the nine regional public broadcasting corporations maintain a number of different music ensembles, from big bands to symphony orchestras. They are led by world-famous conductors.

The public broadcasting corporations receive most of their funding from their listeners and viewers who have to pay a monthly fee if they own a radio or a television set. However, listeners and viewers may be exempted for reasons of financial hardship.

As of 2012, the monthly fee is 17.98 per month (basic fee/radio 5.76; television 12.22). ARD member stations do not receive all of the fees because other programs that are partially supported by ARD also benefit from the revenue. As of 2013, the traditional fee based on radio and TV sets per household will be replaced by a flat rate per household.

Deutsche Welle is not financed by fees, but it receives subsidies from the federal government.

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