|Type||Broadcast radio, television and online|
|Free State of Bavaria|
|Headquarters||Munich, Bavaria, Germany|
|Katja Wildermuth, Managing Director|
|30 March 1924 (Deutsche Stunde in Bayern)|
25 January 1949 (Bayerischer Rundfunk)
Bayerischer Rundfunk (pronounced [ˈbaɪʁɪʃɐ ˈʁʊntfʊŋk]; "Bavarian Broadcasting"), shortened to BR (pronounced [beːˈʔɛʁ] (listen)), 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.
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. 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").
In 1949, Radio Munich became Bayerischer Rundfunk, and in that year it established Europe's first VHF station. A station was added in Nuremberg in the early 1950s. Television broadcasts began in 1954.
BR is a statutory corporation established under the Bavarian Broadcasting Law (Bayerisches Rundfunkgesetz), originally passed in 1948, 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. 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.
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 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.
These two are genuine BR television channels; in addition, BR contributes to the following 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.
BR administers three musical organizations:
|Olympic Tower – Munich||No||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 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.
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