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Arte Logo 2017.svg
Broadcast areaFrance
(also available in Belgium, Monaco, Luxembourg, Austria, and Switzerland)
HeadquartersStrasbourg, France
(subtitles: English, Spanish, Polish, Italian)
Picture format1080i HDTV
(downscaled to 16:9 576i for the SDTV feed)
OwnerARTE France
ARTE Deutschland TV GmbH
Launched30 May 1992; 29 years ago (1992-05-30)
ReplacedLa Cinq
La Sept
Digital terrestrial television
Channel 7
Digital terrestrial television
Varies by location
Digital terrestrial television
Varies by city
Astra 19.2°E (Europe)11494 H 22000 2/3 (HD) German
10744 H 22000 5/6 (SD) German
Hot Bird 13°E (Europe, Middle East & North Africa)11681 H 27500 3/4 (HD) French
AB3 (5°W) (Europe)11590 V 29500 8/9 (HD) French

Arte (/ɑːrˈt/; Association relative à la télévision européenne, sometimes stylized in lowercase or uppercase in its logo) is a European public service channel that promotes cultural programming.

It is made up of three separate companies: the Strasbourg-based European Economic Interest Grouping ARTE, plus two member companies acting as editorial and programme production centres, ARTE France in Paris (formerly known as La Sept) and ARTE Deutschland in Baden-Baden (a subsidiary of the two main public German TV networks ARD and ZDF). As an international joint venture (an EEIG), its programmes focuses to audiences in both countries. Due to this, the channel features two audio tracks and two subtitle tracks, each in French and German.

80% of ARTE's programming is provided by its French and German subsidiaries, each making half of the programmes available, while the remainder is being provided by the European subsidiary and the channel's European partners.[1][dead link] Selected programmes are available with English, Spanish, Polish and Italian subtitles online.[2][3][4]

In January 2021, Bruno Patino, President of ARTE France, became President of Arte GEIE whilst Peter Weber, Head of Legal Affairs at the ZDF, became Vice President. In the same year, the chairmanship of the General Assembly of ARTE GEIE was taken by Tom Buhrow, President of Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR) and Chairman of the German association of public broadcasters ARD. Nicolas Seydoux, President of Gaumont, became Vice Chairman.[5]


The ARTE building in Strasbourg

ARTE was initiated as a symbol of Franco-German friendship and had been championed since 1988 by French President François Mitterrand and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl. It came to fruition on 2 October 1990, when an Interstate Treaty was signed between France and the German Länder.[6]

ARTE began transmission in 1992, filling frequencies left unused by the demise of La Cinq, the first French commercial television network (created in 1986). The opening night on 30 May 1992 was broadcast live from the Strasbourg Opera House.[7]

ARTE started out as an evening-only service. In the daytime, the frequencies were shared with other channels. A public channel called Télé emploi occupied the French frequencies for about a month during 1994, before the start of La Cinquième (now France 5) in December that year. For German viewers, ARTE was assigned a frequency on the Astra 1D satellite in late 1994, and it was eventually shared with Nickelodeon Germany, later replaced by the new public children's channel Kinderkanal.

In 1996, it started offering an afternoon schedule with reruns for viewers on digital satellite and digital cable. A "proper" afternoon schedule with programmes between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. was introduced on 6 January 2001.[8] The channel eventually got its own analogue frequency on the Astra satellites.

ARTE has been broadcasting 24/7 since 2005. In 2007 the catch-up service ARTE+7 was launched and offers internet users free access to a broad range of programs within seven days of their original transmission.[9]

In October 2020, ARTE celebrated 30 years since the signing of its founding treaty between France and Germany.[10]

Transmission and reception[edit]

ARTE programmes are available with multi-channel audio: all programmes go out in French and in German. In addition, whenever possible the original version is offered with French and German subtitles and the hearing or visually impaired may get subtitles or an audio description. Since 2015 a selection of programmes have been available online including English and Spanish subtitles, with Polish to follow in late 2016.[11]

The channel has a major viewership footprint in Europe. Both the German and the French version can be received in nearly all of Europe via satellite Astra1 (19, 2° East) and the French version is also available via Hot Bird (13° East). ARTE is also relayed not only by all cable networks in Germany and France, but by numerous cable networks in Austria, Belgium, Finland, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.

Since 2008 ARTE broadcasts in HD in Germany and in France. Like the national channels of its own respective countries, the German HDTVversion of ARTE broadcasts in 720p50, while the French one broadcasts in 1080i25. Broadcasting Center Europe (BCE), a subsidiary of RTL Group and located in Luxembourg, provides most of technical services for ARTE.[12]

In April 2016 ARTE co-produced (with Astra satellite owner, SES) a live Ultra-high-definition television broadcast of the Le Corsaire ballet from the Vienna State Opera. The programme was transmitted free-to-air on the UHD1 demonstration channel from the Astra 19.2°E satellites.[13]

In July 2016, the Italian public broadcasting company RAI Com signed a partnership agreement with ARTE to collaborate on coproductions and programme acquisitions. In November 2016, the Irish public television RTÉ signed a partnership agreement with ARTE to produce programmes related to arts, culture and history as well as web contents for ARTE Concert and ARTE in English. With the addition of Yle (Finnish television and radio broadcasting service) and Film Fund Luxembourg (national fund that supports Luxembourgish audiovisual productions) ARTE further expanded its European partnerships.[14]

Online ARTE programmes can be streamed live or watched on catch-up TV for at least 7 and up to 700 days on the platform and on ARTE Concert.


In Africa, ARTE is broadcast via satellite, cable, MMDS and ADSL in many other countries, via the digital service CanalSat Horizons. Many French-language ARTE programs are also broadcast in Canada on the Ici ARTV cable channel, partly owned by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (85%) and ARTE itself (15%). The Australian Special Broadcasting Service translates many ARTE programs into English for broadcast on its own television network and overseas.

Market share[edit]

ARTE usually has more viewers in France than in Germany. In 2015, its share of overall viewing was about 2.2% in France and about 1% in Germany. The differences can be put down to the different television markets in both countries. In France, ARTE was for a long time available to almost everyone as one of six analogue terrestrial channels. Relatively few French households received cable and satellite television, and the other terrestrial channels did not really compete with ARTE. Meanwhile, thanks to widespread roll-out of cable television, the vast majority of German households had access to about three dozen channels, including several from the public broadcasters with content similar to ARTE.[15] After the introduction of digital terrestrial television in France, ARTE's market share has fallen there, while it has been more or less flat in Germany.




The platform is ARTE’s streaming service. It can be accessed via browser and also via the ARTE app for smartphones and smart TVs. It is a curated media library where programmes are organised according to theme or genre. The programmes available online reflect the channel’s full range: feature films, documentaries and documentary cinema in the fields of social affairs, the arts, history, nature and science, serials, short and TV films, music and theatre performances, magazines, reportage and news, and Web-based formats.[16]

ARTE first went digital under the name ARTE+7 in September 2007, when it was a replay service enabling viewers to watch ARTE programmes up to seven days after they were broadcast on television.[17] Since 2012 has also been available for streaming in Germany and France.[18] Nowadays most of the programmes can be viewed from 5 am on the morning of broadcast and remain available on replay for up to 90 days, or sometimes longer. Some programmes are exclusively available online ahead of transmission. Most of the videos on now consist entirely of Web-only content.[19]

ARTE also has a podcast site, called Arte Radio.

With ARTE Extra, the channel launched a new feature for HbbTV in 2020. ARTE Extra provides four “smart playlists” related to different topics around society, discovery and music which are put together from programmes available on the platform. The playlists can be accessed by pushing the red button on the remote control.[20]

Every year in December, the ARTE film festival takes place. The online festival promotes the European film d’auteur scene and presents films of young directors accessible in 45 European countries in ten different languages. Each month, the "ArteKino Selection" offers one film available in six languages on[21]

ARTE in six languages[edit]

Since November 2015 ARTE has been making selected programme content – above all documentaries, magazines and live arts – available online with English and Spanish subtitles. Since November 2016 a selection of programmes have featured Polish subtitles.[22] Italian subtitles have been provided since June 2018.[23] This online service is co-funded by the European Commission, enabling 70% of Europeans to watch ARTE in their native language. [24]

ARTE Concert[edit]

ARTE Concert (until 2014 Arte Live Web[25]) is a Web-based service that streams a selection of new and recent stage performances. These might be ARTE co-productions or recordings by ARTE partners, including not only major venues but also independent companies, festivals, and autonomous artists, producers and websites. It is aimed at a broad audience who enjoy opera, rock music, theatre, chamber music, jazz and electronic music. Apart from plays and concerts, the portal offers backstage reports, exclusive interviews with performers and key figures at the various festivals, and extracts from dress rehearsals. The livestreaming platform United We Stream was launched in 2020 in response to the closure of venues due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Every day DJs and concerts are streamed live from empty clubs to audiences around the world in partnership with a wide range of performers. ARTE Concert streams more than 900 live shows and replays a year.[26]

In 2018, ARTE launched its online opera season. As part of ARTE Concert, the format gives access to new opera productions from various European opera houses per live stream or video on demand which are available in six different languages via subtitles. The opera season 2020/2021 features 21 opera houses from 12 European countries which offer both classic and contemporary productions.[27]

Former themed platforms[edit]

In 2009, ARTE Concert (formerly Arte Live Web) was launched, an online platform providing live broadcast of festivals and concerts. Since 2017, the platform has absorbed the themed platforms ARTE Creative, ARTE Future, ARTE Info and ARTE Cinema, which used to be separate units.[28] ARTE Concert is still organised as a separate brand integrated into ARTE’s online architecture.

Logos of former themed platforms



In the course of the channel’s history, ARTE productions and coproductions have received a number of important film awards, including several Oscars, Palmes d’Or (Cannes Film Festival), Golden Bears, Golden Lions, Golden Leopards, César Awards for Best Film and Best Documentary Film as well as Lolas in gold for the best film an the best documentary.[29]

In 2016, PRIX EUROPA awarded ARTE the "Lifetime Achievement Award" "in honour of extraordinary achievements in the European media world".[30]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "How is ARTE funded? - ARTE Entreprise". Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  2. ^ Pressemitteilung: Der europäische Kultursender Arte jetzt auch auf Englisch und Spanisch Archived 16 February 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Avec le polonais, ARTE désormais en cinq langues - Services". Services (in French). Retrieved 4 December 2016.
  4. ^ ARTE. "What we do". ARTE Entreprise. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  5. ^ "Our History". Retrieved 14 October 2021.
  6. ^ "Our History". Retrieved 14 October 2021.
  7. ^ "The founding of ARTE". Retrieved 6 November 2015.
  8. ^ A R T E M a g a z i n e, 6 January 2001
  9. ^ "Broadcasting Archives - ARTE Entreprise". ARTE Entreprise. Retrieved 14 March 2016.
  10. ^ "Our History". Retrieved 14 October 2021.
  11. ^ Zeitung, Münstersche. "Arte setzt auf Themenabende". Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  12. ^ ARTE reference on Broadcasting Center Europe website
  13. ^ SES and ARTE to Broadcast Le Corsaire Ballet Live in Ultra HD via Astra 19.2 Business Wire. 29 March 2016. Accessed 27 April 2016
  14. ^ "Our History". Retrieved 14 October 2021.
  15. ^ Zehn Jahre arte
  16. ^ "Deutsch-französischer Kultursender. Videos, Livestream".
  17. ^ "Verbreitung".
  18. ^ "Verbreitung".
  19. ^ "Arte mise sur sa «plateformisation» - Stratégies".
  20. ^ Uwe Mantel (22 June 2020). ""Arte Extra": Arte weitet sein HbbTV-Angebot weiter aus". GmbH.
  21. ^ "ArteKino Festival : Place au cinéma européen et en ligne". Daily Movies. 30 November 2020.
  22. ^ "ARTE wird multilingual".
  23. ^ "ARTE Presse" (in German). Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  24. ^ name="Pressemitteilung: Der europäische Kultursender ARTE jetzt auch auf Englisch und Spanisch"/
  25. ^ "Verbreitung".
  26. ^
  27. ^ "Arte präsentiert in Kooperation mit 21 europäischen Opernhäusern die neue digitale Opernspielzeit Saison ARTE Opera 21/22". 21 September 2021.
  28. ^ "ARTE startet neuen Online-Auftritt".
  29. ^ "All about ARTE" (PDF).

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 48°35′38″N 7°45′58″E / 48.5938°N 7.7662°E / 48.5938; 7.7662