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TypeBroadcast radio, television and online
HeadquartersStuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Launch date
1 October 1998 (25 years ago) (1998-10-01)
Official website
ReplacedSDR and SWF

Südwestrundfunk (pronounced [zyːtˈvɛstˌʁʊntfʊŋk];[1] lit.'Southwest Broadcasting'), shortened to SWR (pronounced [ˌɛsveːˈʔɛʁ]), is a regional public broadcasting corporation serving the southwest of Germany, specifically the federal states of Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate. The corporation has main offices in three cities: Stuttgart, Baden-Baden and Mainz, with the director's office being in Stuttgart. It is a part of the ARD consortium.

It broadcasts on two television channels and six radio channels, with its main television and radio office in Baden-Baden and regional offices in Stuttgart and Mainz. It is (after WDR) the second largest broadcasting organization in Germany. SWR, with a coverage of 55,600 km2 (21,500 sq. mi.), and an audience reach estimated to be 14.7 million. SWR employs 3,700 people in its various offices and facilities.


Program guide of Süddeutsche Rundfunk AG (SÜRAG) Stuttgart (18 September 1924)

SWR was established on 1 January 1998 through the merger of Süddeutscher Rundfunk (SDR, Southern German Broadcasting), formerly headquartered in Stuttgart, and Südwestfunk (SWF, South West Radio), formerly headquartered in Baden-Baden. The new corporation began broadcasting on 1 September 1998. Its predecessor organizations, SDR and SWF, were formally dissolved at 24:00 on 30 September 1998, SWR legally succeeding them with effect from 0:00 on 1 October 1998.

The existence of two public broadcasting corporations in southwest Germany was a legacy of the Allied occupation of Germany after the Second World War. The French Military Government established SWF as the sole public broadcaster in their occupation zone. This area was later divided into the states of South Baden, Württemberg-Hohenzollern and Rhineland-Palatinate. The American Military Government established SDR in Württemberg-Baden. When Baden, Württemberg-Hohenzollern and Württemberg-Baden merged to form Baden-Württemberg in 1952, the corporations were not merged, although SDR and SWF operated several joint services.

The two corporations had intended to merge in 1990, but the merger was pushed back by the reunification process.

Several channel mergers and changes took effect from 1 September 1998:

  • SWF 1 and SDR 1 became SWR1 Baden-Württemberg and SWR1 Rheinland-Pfalz: regional programmes for their respective states (Länder)
  • S 2 Kultur became SWR2
  • SWF3 and SDR 3 became the pop station SWR3
  • S 4 Baden-Württemberg became SWR4 Baden-Württemberg
  • SWF 4 Rheinland-Pfalz became SWR4 Rheinland-Pfalz
  • DASDING was unchanged and continued broadcasting
  • The television channel Südwest 3 became Südwest BW and Südwest RP, and today transmits as SWR Fernsehen

A radio news channel, SWR cont.ra, was added in July 2002. This was relaunched with a new programme format on 9 January 2012 as SWRinfo. It was relaunched again as SWR Aktuell on 6 February 2017.


Licensing fees required for radio and TV sets are €17.50 per month, as of 1 April 2015. These fees are not collected directly by the SWR but by the Beitragsservice von ARD, ZDF und Deutschlandradio that is a common organisation of ARD, its members, ZDF and Deutschlandradio.

In 2016, the SWR received over 1,000,000,000 from these fees, out of nearly 8,000,000,000 collected in total that year.[2]

Studios and offices[edit]

Headquarters in Stuttgart
SWR buildings in Baden-Baden
Funkhaus Mainz

SWR operates studios in the following cities:

SWR regional offices are in:

In Baden-Württemberg there are also "Korrespondentenbüros" (roughly: "correspondence offices") for the SWR in Aalen, Albstadt-Ebingen, Biberach, Buchen, Konstanz, Mosbach, Pforzheim, Ravensburg, Schwäbisch Hall, Tauberbischofsheim and Waldshut-Tiengen.


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

Television channels[edit]

  • Das Erste "Erstes Deutsches Fernsehen" (German Television One) – Collaborative program for the ARD. SWR's portion is 16.95 percent. SWR also contributes to ARD digital, delivered over cable and satellite networks.
  • SWR Fernsehen ("Unser Drittes") – ["SWR television – Our Third"] – The channel three network for Baden-Württemberg and the Rhineland-Palatinate. The programming is transmitted in two different versions, one for Baden-Württemberg and one for the Rhineland-Palatinate. The Saarländischer Rundfunk (SR, Saarland Broadcasting) retransmits over 70 percent of these programs under the banner "SR Fernsehen" ("SR Television).
  • Phoenix – Collaborative network programming between the ARD and ZDF.
  • KiKA – Children's network from ARD and ZDF.
  • arte – Franco-German cultural network
  • 3sat – Cultural network from ARD, ZDF, ORF (Austrian Broadcasting), and SRG (Swiss Broadcasting).
  • EinsPlus

Radio channels[edit]

SWR operates six radio channels on FM and DAB, all of which are also streamed on the internet.


Since 2007, the managing director of SWR has been Peter Boudgoust, who was previously the administrative director of SWR. The managing director's office is located in Stuttgart. Seven other directors serve under him (locations of their offices in parentheses):

  • Jan Büttner – Administration (Stuttgart)
  • Dr. Christoph Hauser – Information, Sport, Film, Service & Entertainment (Baden-Baden)
  • Gerold Hug – Culture, Knowledge, Young Formats (Baden-Baden)
  • Stefanie Schneider – Regional Programming for Baden-Württemberg (Stuttgart)
  • Dr. Simone Schelberg – Regional Programming for Rhineland-Palatinate (Mainz)
  • Dr. Hermann Eicher – Legal Department (Mainz)
  • Michael Eberhard – Engineering and Production (Baden-Baden)

Transmitter locations[edit]

  • Fernsehturm Stuttgart (Stuttgart TV Tower – a large TV/radio transmission tower in a steel-reinforced concrete structure, also containing a tower restaurant and viewing deck)
  • Rheinsender at Wolfsheim for FM
  • Fernsehturm Heidelberg (Heidelberg TV Tower – a large TV/radio transmission tower in a steel-reinforced concrete structure, containing a viewing deck).
  • Transmitter Aalen for FM and TV
  • Transmitter Waldenburg for FM and TV
  • Transmitter Bad Mergentheim-Löffelstelzen for FM and TV
  • Transmitter Ulm-Kuhberg for VHF
  • Transmitter Freiburg-Lehen for FM and TV
  • Transmitter Ulm-Ermingen for FM and TV
  • Transmitter Hornisgrinde for FM and TV
  • Transmitter Raichberg for FM and TV
  • Transmitter Wannenberg for FM and TV
  • Transmitter Blauen for FM and TV
  • Transmitter Bad Marienberg for FM and TV
  • Transmitter Fernsehturm St. Chrischona (Switzerland) for FM and TV
  • Transmitter Feldberg im Schwarzwald for FM and TV
  • Transmitter Weinbiet for FM and TV
  • Transmitter Haardtkopf for FM and TV
  • Transmitter Kettrichhof for FM and TV
  • Transmitter Witthoh for FM and TV
  • Transmitter Saarburg for FM and TV
  • Transmitter Potzberg for FM and TV
  • Transmitter Eifel for FM and TV
  • Transmitter Waldburg for FM and TV
  • Transmitter Dieblich-Naßheck(Koblenz) for FM and TV
  • Transmitter Donnersberg for FM and TV
  • Transmitter Linz am Rhein for FM and TV
  • Transmitter Grünten im Allgäu for FM

At present, there is a new TV tower at Waldenburg under construction, which should replacer in 2008 old TV tower Waldenburg.

Orchestras and choruses[edit]

SWR operates the following musical organizations:

Responsibilities within the ARD[edit]

Within the ARD, SWR is responsible for the coordination of the joint network programming on the networks 3sat and arte as well as the main Internet site for the ARD, ARD.de. The offices for ARTE Deutschland TV GmbH are in Baden-Baden, and the offices for ARD.de are in Mainz.
SWR is also responsible for some of the foreign studios operated on behalf of the ARD:

Subsidiaries of SWR[edit]

The following companies are subsidiaries of SWR-Holding GmbH:

  • Südwest-Werbung GmbH – Advertising for radio and TV programs
  • SWR Media GmbH – Licenses of SWR, including use of excerpts and sponsorships
  • Südfunk Wirtschaftsbetriebe GmbH – Handles rent/leases for the "Parkhotel Stuttgart"
  • Fernsehturm Betriebs GmbH – Responsible for the viewing deck and restaurant at the Fernsehturm Stuttgart
  • Schwetzinger Festspiele GmbH – Responsible for the festival at Schwetzingen
  • Maran-Film-GmbH – Film production company
  • Bavaria Film GmbH – Film und TV production company
  • Telepool GmbH – International management for productions of SWR and other public broadcasting services
  • Der Audio Verlag GmbH – Production and management for audio recordings
  • TR-Verlagsunion GmbH – Print publisher of various materials related to broadcasting
  • Haus des Dokumentarfilms e. V. – Not-for-profit organization responsible for various documentaries

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "SWR übernimmt ARD-Vorsitz". YouTube. Presseportal Videos. Retrieved 10 July 2023.
  2. ^ "Jahresbericht 2016" (PDF) (in German). ARD ZDF Deutschlandradio Beitragsservice. June 2017. p. 33. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  3. ^ Miller Markus. "SWR3 playlist". playlist24.de (in German). Retrieved 13 July 2019.

External links[edit]