Confusion about the increase between Söder and SWR director Gniffke

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The director of Südwestrundfunk (SWR), Kai Gniffke, was irritated by statements from politicians about the amount of the broadcasting fee.


It was only at the weekend that Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) considered freezing the contribution in a “Bild” interview due to the rise in inflation (DIGITAL TELEVISION reported). Gniffke told the “Badische Zeitung” (Tuesday) when asked what he said about the fact that there were statements from politicians that an increase was not conceivable under the current circumstances: “That’s right. Under the current circumstances, an increase in contributions is unthinkable – because it is not pending at all. I don’t know why people are ranting about it now.”

Gniffke: Increasing the broadcasting fee is currently “not an issue at all”.

The current contribution period runs until 2024. It is currently unclear whether an increase will even be considered, because the corresponding financial registration period of the public institutions and the subsequent procedure of the independent financial committee KEF, which then determines the amount of the contribution proposes to the federal states has not yet begun. The countries, which are closely based on the KEF proposal, ultimately determine the contribution by state treaty. It is currently EUR 18.36 per month. Every year, more than eight billion euros come together to finance public broadcasting with ARD, ZDF and Deutschlandradio.

Gniffke, who is expected to take over the important position of chairman of the entire ARD community next year, emphasized in the interview: “We have a contribution that is valid until the end of 2024. That’s why a discussion about it doesn’t make any sense at the moment.”

Weeks ago – and again from the ranks of the Union – Saxony-Anhalt’s Prime Minister Reiner Haseloff told the “Welt am Sonntag” that an increase in contributions would hardly be possible in the foreseeable future. The CDU politician had put this in the context of the current crisis at Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (RBB) about nepotism. Both Söder and Haseloff have important positions: they sit on the supervisory board of the ZDF and thus monitor the financial situation of the broadcaster in Mainz.

Söder sits on the board of directors of ZDF

A few days ago in the state parliament of Saxony-Anhalt, the independent financial committee KEF emphasized the role of politics in broadcasting reforms. KEF member and State Court of Auditors President Kay Barthel said with regard to the amount of the broadcasting fee: “You have to know what you are ordering.” It is economically impossible to rule out increases in the fee – as is currently being demanded from politicians in isolated cases – and at the same time to leave everything as it is . MPs in turn asked about the willingness to reform in the broadcasters.

There are always debates like this. Broadcasters are accused of not initiating reforms energetically enough on their own, which they deny. In state treaties, the federal states determine the mandate that public broadcasting should have in Germany. The financial expenditure to fulfill the order is then based on this.



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