Bayerischer Rundfunk
TypeBroadcast radio, television and online
Licence area
Free State of Bavaria
HeadquartersMunich, Bavaria, Germany
Key people
Katja Wildermuth, Managing Director
Launch date
30 March 1924 (Deutsche Stunde in Bayern)
25 January 1949 (Bayerischer Rundfunk)[1]
Former names
  • Deutsche Stunde in Bayern (1922–1930)
  • Bayerischer Rundfunk GmbH (1931–1933)
  • Reichssender München (1933–1945)
  • Radio München (1945–1949)
WebcastWatch Nord
Watch Süd
Watch Panorama
Official website

Bayerischer Rundfunk (pronounced [ˈbaɪʁɪʃɐ ˈʁʊntfʊŋk]; "Bavarian Broadcasting"), shortened to BR (pronounced [beːˈʔɛʁ] ), is a public-service radio and television broadcaster, based in Munich, capital city of the Free State of Bavaria in Germany. BR is a member organization of the ARD consortium of public broadcasters in Germany.


Bayerischer Rundfunk was founded in Munich in 1922 as Deutsche Stunde in Bayern. It aired its first program on 30 March 1924. The first broadcasts consisted mainly of time announcements, news, weather and stock market reports, and music. Programming expanded to include radio plays, concerts, programs for women, language courses, chess, opera, radio, news, and Catholic and Protestant morning services. Its new 1929 studio was designed by Richard Riemerschmid.[2]

"Reichssender München" logo from 1934 to 1945

Deutsche Stunde in Bayern became Bayerischer Rundfunk in 1931. In 1933, shortly after the Nazi seizure of power, the station was put under the control of the Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda.[3] After the Allied victory over Nazi Germany, the American military occupation government took control of the station. Operating as Radio Munich, it broadcast, among other programming, live coverage of the Nuremberg trials and programs such as "War Never Again" ("Nie wieder Krieg").[4]

In 1949, Radio Munich became Bayerischer Rundfunk,[1] and in that year it established Europe's first VHF station. A station was added in Nuremberg in the early 1950s.[4] Television broadcasts began in 1954.[5]

Legal foundation

BR is a statutory corporation established under the Bavarian Broadcasting Law (Bayerisches Rundfunkgesetz), originally passed in 1948,[4] and updated in 1993 to take account of the demands of a changed media and political environment. Its functions are determined by a legal foundation which lays down the principles under which the broadcaster operates and the structure of its internal organization.

The broadcast law is supplemented by the so-called Broadcast State Contract (Rundfunkstaatsvertrag), a multilateral agreement between all 16 German Länder which regulates the relationship of public and private broadcast in the dual broadcast system and which contains fundamental regulations particularly for financing. Just as important for the work of Bavarian Broadcasting is the cooperation of the ARD consortium, consisting of nine other regional broadcasting corporates as well as Deutsche Welle. The broadcasting service is further backed by the relevant European legal bases as well as the media service convention, which contain regulations for the on-line offerings of Bavarian Broadcasting.


BR is in part funded by commercial activity, including the limited sale of on-air commercial advertising time; however, its principal source of income is the revenue derived from viewer and listener licence fees. Every household in Germany is required by law to pay a Rundfunkbeitrag (broadcast contribution) of €18.36 per month as of August 2021, to finance the public broadcast system.[6][7] The fee is collected by Beitragsservice von ARD, ZDF und Deutschlandradio.

In 2012, BR derived 85.3% of its income from viewer and listener licence fees, 12.6% from other sources such as product licensing and investments, and 2.1% from the sale of advertising time. 48.5% of this income was spent on programme production costs, 25.1% on staffing, and 26.4% on other operating expenses and fixed charges.[8]

Television series produced by BR

BR produces several series that are well known throughout Bavaria, and some of these are re-broadcast throughout other parts of Germany. These include:


BR's TV channel, Bayerisches Fernsehen (Bavarian Television), as with all regional "Third Channel" broadcasters (along with public specialty channels such as arte, 3Sat, KI.KA, Phoenix and ARD-alpha) carry no commercials. Advertising is also not permitted on ARD's "Das Erste" or on ZDF on Sundays, national holidays, or on any day after 8:00pm. On weekdays, only 20 minutes of advertising is permitted, split between breaks between programs. Program sponsoring is not considered to be advertising, and is not subject to these restrictions.


BR's headquarters in Munich

BR operates a main broadcasting facility in downtown Munich as well as studios in Munich's northern Freimann quarter and the nearby municipality of Unterföhring. There are also regional TV and radio studios in Nuremberg ("Studio Franconia"), Würzburg ("Regional Studio Franconia/River Main") and Regensburg ("Regional Studio East Bavaria").


BR provides programs to various TV and radio networks, some done in collaboration with other broadcasters, and others completely independently.

Television channels

These two are genuine BR television channels; in addition, BR contributes to the following channels:

Radio channels

A further five channels are available via Digital Audio Broadcasting, digital satellite, cable, and internet streaming:

From 1998 to 2008, BR operated Bayern mobil, which existed as part of a DAB pilot project.

Musical organizations

BR administers three musical organizations:


Transmitter FM DVB-T2 DAB+
Ismaning Yes No Yes
Dillberg Yes Yes Yes
Würzburg Yes Yes Yes
Olympic Tower – Munich No Yes Yes
Nürnberg No Yes Yes
Hof No No Yes
Wendelstein Yes Yes Yes
Kreuzberg (Rhön) Yes Yes Yes
Grünten Yes Yes Yes
Brotjacklriegel Yes Yes Yes
Hohen Bogen Yes Yes Yes
Hohe Linie Yes Yes Yes
Ochsenkopf Yes Yes Yes
Büttelberg Yes Yes Yes
Pfaffenberg Yes Yes Yes
Hohenpeißenberg Yes Yes Yes
Hühnerberg Yes Yes Yes
Coburg Yes Yes Yes
Augsburg Yes Yes Yes
Hochberg Yes Yes Yes
Gelbelsee Yes Yes Yes


An ever-increasing number of podcasts produced by BR are available. This includes podcasts by both Bayerisches Fernsehen and the radio stations.

Managing directors

Managing Directors of BR since 1945:


In the 1970s, Bayerischer Rundfunk was notorious for opting out of national ARD television broadcasts when certain broadcast programmes were deemed too controversial or otherwise inappropriate.

The best-known opt outs include:

Except for "Scheibenwischer" (these programs have never been rebroadcast in full), all opt-outs have since been shown on BR's TV channel, Bayerisches Fernsehen, and after the introduction of satellite and internet TV Bayerischer Rundfunk no longer opts out of national broadcasts.

See also


  1. ^ a b "BR-Chronik: Der BR von 1922 bis heute" (in German). Bayerischer Rundfunk. 4 June 2013. Retrieved 3 September 2015.
  2. ^ "Deutsche Stunde in Bayern – 1922 bis 1932" (in German). BR. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  3. ^ "Rundfunk im Dritten Reich – 1933 bis 1944" (in German). BR. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  4. ^ a b c "Der Wiederaufbau – 1945 bis 1952" (in German). BR. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  5. ^ "Das Fernsehen kommt – 1953 bis 1969" (in German). BR. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  6. ^ "Der Rundfunkbeitrag – Informationen zur Beitragssenkung". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 9 March 2016.
  7. ^ "Der Rundfunkbeitrag – Beitragsanpassung". Retrieved 25 February 2022.
  8. ^ Rundfunk, Bayerischer (5 August 2021). "BR in Zahlen: Die Finanzen des BR". (in German).
  9. ^ Anne Midgette (29 October 2006). "Can the iPod Kill These Radio Stars?". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 January 2011.
  10. ^ Rundfunk, Bayerischer (1 February 2021). "Die Intendantin: Dr. Katja Wildermuth" (in German). ((cite journal)): Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  11. ^ Thurnes, Mario (14 February 2008). "35 Jahre deutsche Sesamstraße" (in German). Archived from the original on 20 May 2009. Retrieved 17 August 2009.
  12. ^ "Zeitdokument vom 22.05.1986: Scheibenwischer vom 22. Mai 1986 – BR Mediathek VIDEO". 17 September 2014. Archived from the original on 17 September 2014.((cite web)): CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)

Media related to Bayerischer Rundfunk at Wikimedia Commons

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