|Parts of this article (those related to Finances) are outdated. (January 2013)|
Bayerischer Rundfunk (Bavarian Broadcasting, BR) is 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.
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. As of 2013 the monthly fee due from each household for radio and television reception was €17.98: the equivalent of €0.59 per day, payable quarterly, half-yearly, or annually. These fees are collected not directly by BR but by a joint agency of ARD (and its member institutions), ZDF, and 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.
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:
- Münchner Runde (political talkshow)
- Space Night
- Kunst und Krempel
- Unter unserem Himmel ("Under our Skies")
- Café Meineid
- Zur Freiheit ("To Freedom")
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 BR-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.
- Bayerisches Fernsehen — Regional TV channel for Bavaria.
- Das Erste - BR contributes programming to Germany's main network's (ARD) national channel.
- BR-alpha — educational programming
- Phoenix — collaborative network programming between the ARD and ZDF.
- KI.KA — Children's network from the ARD and ZDF.
- arte — Franco-German cultural network
- 3sat — Cultural network from the ARD, ZDF, ORF (Austrian Broadcasting), and SRG (Swiss Broadcasting).
- Bayern 1 — Pop music and information, with a target audience of adults over 35
- Bayern 2 — Spoken word, some music output (alternative music, jazz, folk)
- Bayern 3 — Pop music, targeting a younger audience, traffic information
- BR-Klassik — Classical music
- B5 aktuell — News non-stop (news update every 15 minutes)
Three further channels are available only via Digital Audio Broadcasting, digital satellite and cable and Internet streaming:
- Bayern plus — Oldies music, folk music and information for elderly people (also on AM transmitters, 801 and 792 kHz)
- BR Verkehr (BR Traffic) — Latest traffic news read by a computer voice
- Puls — youth programming, focus on alternative music
BR administers three musical organizations:
- Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks (Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra), founded in 1949. Music directors have included Eugen Jochum, Rafael Kubelík, Sir Colin Davis and Lorin Maazel. Mariss Jansons has been serving in this post since 2003.
- Münchner Rundfunkorchester (Munich Radio Orchestra), founded in the 1920s, reorganized in 1952. The orchestra is known for its Sunday concerts, and youth/children's concerts. As of August 2005, the orchestra is threatened with dissolution in 2006. Marcello Viotti gave up his post as music director, but continued to conduct the orchestra. He died on 16 February 2005 as a result of a stroke suffered during a performance of "Manon."
- Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks (Bavarian Radio Choir), founded in 1946 as "Rundfunkchor München" (Munich Radio Choir). The choir has premiered works by Rafael Kubelík and Hans Pfitzner.
An ever increasing number of podcasts produced by BR are available. This includes podcasts by either Bayerisches Fernsehen and the radio stations.
Managing Directors of BR since 1945:
- Field Horine (Chief of Section, Radio Munich) — 1945–1947
- Edmund Schechter — 1947
- Rudolf von Scholtz — 1947–1956
- Franz Stadelmayer — 1956–1960
- Christian Wallenreiter — 1960–1972
- Reinhold Vöth — 1972–1990
- Prof. Dr. h.c. Albert Scharf — 1990–2002
- Dr. Thomas Gruber — 2002–2011
- Ulrich Wilhelm; since 2011
In the 1970s, Bayerischer Rundfunk was notorious for opting out of national ARD television broadcasts when certain broadcast programmes were deemed too controversial.
The best-known opt outs include:
- Sesamstraße (the German version of Sesame Street) was deemed "too fast and too American" by Bavarian broadcasting authorities when it started on German TV in 1973. However, the exclusion did not last long.
- Rosa von Praunheim's 1970 movie Nicht der Homosexuelle ist pervers, sondern die Situation in der er lebt (The homosexual is not perverted, but rather the world he lives in) was not broadcast through BR's transmitters, as the subject matter was deemed inapproriate for a Bavarian audience.
- Die Konsequenz - a Wolfgang Petersen made-for-TV movie about a homosexual love affair. Bayerischer Rundfunk boycotted the network premiere on ARD on November 8, 1977.
- The last opt-out took place in 1982 when the political cabaret (satire) programm Scheibenwischer criticized the construction of the Rhine–Main–Danube Canal. The program was performed on a Munich theatre stage (Kammerspiele) a few days after the broadcast.
Except for "Scheibenwischer" (these programs have never been re-broadcast in full), all opt-outs have since been shown on Bavaria's third channel, Bayerisches Fernsehen and today, Bayerischer Rundfunk no longer opts out of national broadcasts.
- Eichler, Antje (2005). Protest im Radio: die Berichterstattung des Bayerischen Rundfunks über die Studentenbewegung 1967/1968. Frankfurt am Main; New York: Peter Lang. ISBN 3-631-52126-X.
- Bayerischer Rundfunk Homepage (German)