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Because of inflation: broadcasting fees will probably continue to rise






The broadcasting fee last rose in July 2021. However, a further increase is likely in view of the high inflation.

Since January 2022, Martin Detzel has been the head of the commission for determining the financial requirements of the KEF. In an interview with the FAZ he said that he considers a further increase in the license fee to be likely. The last increase was in July 2021 to EUR 18.36 per month and has been collected since August 2021. The KEF determines the financial requirements for public service broadcasting and submits a report every two years. You can view these reports here.

Detzel emphasizes that there is no automatic increase in the broadcasting fee. The KEF would check the needs reports from the broadcasters and also look for potential savings. However, given the current rate of inflation, it would come as no surprise if premiums rose in nominal terms. Even when considering potential savings.

Detzel emphasizes, however, that the increases in contributions in recent years have been below the inflation rates. In this respect, the broadcasting fee would not have to increase as much this time as the current inflation rate suggests. Because the KEF wants to “count against possible savings from rationalization, cooperation and digitization in order to keep the burden on the citizen as low as possible,” quotes the FAZ Detzel. However, the KEF boss limits: “However, digitization initially causes higher costs than result from savings here. And of course the employees are also entitled to appropriate remuneration.”

The FAZ rightly refers to the currently high rate of inflation and the increasing financial burden on citizens, above all due to the enormously increased energy costs. The question therefore arises as to whether it is justifiable for citizens to be burdened further by increasing broadcasting fees. Detzel does not want to rule that out and thinks that this is a political decision. However, the importance of public service broadcasting increased during the corona pandemic and after the Russian attack on Ukraine, says Detzel.

Detzel is reluctant to comment on the recent call from Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder for structural reforms in public broadcasting. Intendants do not simply reduce their editorial offices, but the states have to decide on the structure of public service broadcasting and state treaties are required for mergers.

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