Europe

Public Media Worldwide


Österreichischer Rundfunk (ORF)

Radio | Television | Online

74.4%

weekly national
audience

94%

of Austrians use
an ORF service
each week

60%

Approx.
revenue from
broadcast fee

In detail

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At the head of ORF’s executive management is the Director General Dr. Alexander Wrabetz, who has been the Director General of ORF since 2007.

Director Generals are appointed by the Foundation Council (Stiftungsrat) for five-year terms.  The Foundation Council appoints the remaining members of ORF’s executive management – the financial, TV-programme, radio and technical directors – as well as directors for the federal states, based upon the Director General’s suggestions. The council is organised into the Committee for finances and technology and the Programme Committee. Its approval is also required for various legal transactions.

The Foundation Council has four-year terms. Dr Norbert Steger and Dr Franz Medwenitsch have been chairman and deputy chairman respectively since being elected by the membership in 2018.

The Foundation Council has 35 members. Six of these are from political parties. They are appointed by the Federal Government in proportion to the parties’ representation in the National Council and based upon the proposals of those parties. Nine members are appointed by the federal states. Another nine are appointed directly by the federal government. Six members are appointed by the Audience Council and five by the Central Staff Council (Zentralbetriebsrat).

The Audience Council (Publikumsrat), ORF’s other governing body, serves four-year terms and consists of 31 members appointed by various societal institutions as well as political parties. This council advises ORF’s management on issues from programming to technical expansion. The Audience Council can also carry out polls, approve resolutions by the Foundation Council regarding the programme fee, and summon the broadcasting regulator to investigate suspected violations. It divides its work between seven committees.

ORF is regulated by the Austrian Communications Authority (KommAustria), which also allocates frequencies and licences for private broadcasting, monitors the use of advertising by public and private broadcasters and administers the press subsidy scheme. Appeals against KommAustria’s decisions can be made before the Federal Administrative Court.

The five members of KommAustria must not have active ties to government or ORF. They serve six-year terms but can be reappointed. They are appointed by the Federal President upon the proposal of the Federal Government and with the agreement of the main committee of the lower house of the Austrian parliament.

The Austrian Regulatory Authority for Broadcasting and Telecommunications (RTR) acts as KommAustria’s secretariat and provides it with operational support. The Media Division of RTR is also responsible for the allocation of money from various media-related funds, including the Fund for Digitalisation. The two authorities are separate legal entities whose duties and responsibilities are defined by the KommAustria Act.

Roughly 60% of ORF’s funding comes from a broadcasting fee. The entire broadcasting fee is between €20.93 and €26.73 per month. Federal states determine the exact amount themselves.

However, ORF only receives a portion (67%) of broadcasting fee revenue, called the “programme fee”. This amounts to €0.55 per day, or €16.78 per month. This revenue is invested directly into ORF’s programmes and services – towards expenses such as content production, broadcasting and technical equipment, regional studios, and licences.

ORF’s remaining funding comes from advertising revenue and other income. In 2019, ORF’s revenue from advertising was €219.5 million (compared to €643 million from the “programme fee”).

The Fees Info Service (GIS) is the authority responsible for collecting the broadcasting fee.

ORF has around three quarters of the radio market share and Ö3 has the highest listenership in Austria with over 2.5 million listeners per day.

In 2018/19, ORF had 29.8% of the television market share with 74.4% of Austrians watching ORF television programmes every week. On average, 50.6 % of Austrians are watching daily.

Meanwhile, ORF claims to be the most successful German language media service. It receives 93.5 million online visits per month and its media library is used by 10% of Austrian internet-users every week. In addition, by October 2020, ORF’s second screen apps had been downloaded over 9.75 million times.

ORF also engages in what it calls Humanitarian Broadcasting – a series of social campaigns and initiatives, which have included programmes to raise money for those in need and events promoting sustainability.

As of May 2020, ORF’s online portal is available in easy German, making daily news – especially related to the coronavirus pandemic – more accessible to people with different language abilities. This was achieved through cooperation with the Austrian Press Agency. Easy German programmes are also available on ORF III and Radio Wien.

In 2020, ORF 1 and ORF 2 broadcasted 12,186 hours of subtitled programming for those with hearing difficulties and 1,517 hours of audio-described programming for those visually impaired.

ORF’s new streaming platform is expected to be launched following the election for ORF’s General Director in August. It will be called ORF On.

The election for the Director General of ORF is set to take place on 10th August 2021. However, there are concerns regarding the secrecy and delayed nomination of the Foundation Council, which has a ÖVP-friendly majority for the first time in decades. The current Director General, Alexander Wrabetz, is so far the only person to have announced his candidacy.

In July, ORF’s editorial committee unanimously passed a resolution calling for an amendment to the law to increase ORF’s independence.


Danish Broadcasting Corporation (DR)

Radio | Television | Online

#1

most trusted
news brand
in Denmark

#3

ranked third
in RSF's World
Press Freedom
index (2020)

DKK 428m

worth of cuts
implemented in
2019

In detail

Click on the headings below for more information


Publicly owned

All persons above the age of 18 who own a licensed device (radio, television sets, and internet access) are required by law to pay a licence fee.

2020 licence fee cost: DKK 676.50 semi-annually (DKK 112.75 monthly)
2019 licence fee cost: DKK 963.50 semi-annually (DKK 160.58 monthly)

Source: Executive Order on media license

In March 2018, a decision was made to gradually phase out the licence fee until 2022. From then, “public service” will instead be financed through a tax. In the same year, the Danish government and the Danish People’s Party (DF) approved a budget cut that would reduce DR’s overall expenditure by 20% across five years, which was expected to negatively impact its public service remit and the future of media plurality in Denmark. By 2023, it was expected that there would be a cut of DKK 689 million.

DR implemented the first phase of the cuts through a “savings and development plan” for the 2019-2021 period, which amounted to DKK 428 million. However, the full extent of the cuts were considerably reduced following the election of the social democratic government in 2019, according to DR’s December 6 2020 newsletter. While DR undertook the first phase, the new government and supporting parties passed the Fiscal Act for 2021 in which the second phase of cuts were abandoned.

DR is managed by an 11-member executive board appointed for a period of four years. The Minister of Culture appoints three of its members (including the chairman), Parliament appoints six, and DR employees appoint two. According to DR, “The Executive Board has the overall responsibility for the financial management of DR and for ensuring that the regulations of the Radio and Television Broadcasting Act are respected. The Executive Board also establishes the guidelines for DR’s activities and appoints the members of the Management Board.”

According to RISJ’s 2020 Digital News Report, DR News is the most trusted news brand in Denmark and has the most reach across television, radio, and online. In 2019, 93.1% used one or more of DR’s offers weekly.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, DR focused on reassuring young people and began by increasing Ultra Nyt (Ultra News), “its daily new programme for nine to 14-year-olds, starting with a package explaining COVID-19 to its audience.” Ultra Nyt typically airs on DR TV (DR’s on-demand service) but moved to the main channel DR1 and at a primetime slot to cater to children and their parents by providing them with news on what was happening in Denmark and abroad. DR also “produced segments on how children could talk to parents about the pandemic and deal with fear during such turbulent times” (EBU 2020, Media Case Studies).


Estonian Public Broadcasting (ERR)

Radio | Television | Online

69%

of Estonians
trust ERR
(2020)

€2.24

how much ERR
costs the
taxpayer monthly

15th

Estonia's ranking
in RSF's 2021 World
Press Freedom
ranking

In detail

Click on the headings below for more information


Ownership: Public

Public broadcasting is governed by the National Broadcasting Council, which includes a representative from each parliamentary party and several experts. The Council supervises the performance of ERR’s objectives and functions, and reports to the parliamentary Cultural Affairs Committee. It also approves ERR’s budget, determines the structure of public broadcasting, and can determine the number of programme services. The chairman of the National Broadcasting Council is Rein Veidemann.

The Management Board represents ERR and deals with everyday economic activities. It is appointed for five years by the National Broadcasting Council. The Management Board is guided by the budget, development plan and strategic documents approved by the Council. It is also advised by the Public Advisory Board, which is appointed by the Council. Erik Roose has been the chairman of ERR’s Management Board since 2017.

ERR also has an appointed ombudsman/ethics advisor – Tarmu Tammerk – who reports to the National Broadcasting Council twice a year and makes proposals to the Council and Management Board on an ongoing basis.

In Estonia, the media regulator – the Consumer Protection and Technical Surveillance Authority – is under the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, while broadcasting policy is formulated by the Ministry of Culture.

ERR is funded primarily from the state budget. The remainder of ERR’s revenue comes from the sale of goods and services and other financial activities.

In 2020, ERR received €39,030,000 from the state budget. The Public Broadcasting Act prohibits ERR from broadcasting advertisements in almost all cases.

ERR’s 2022-2025 Development Plan proposes that, to ensure its independence and to meet its strategic objectives, funding should at least match the average level of funding for PSBs in the European Union. It also suggests that ERR’s funding should be linked to Estonia’s economic development.

ERR broadcasts regionally, nationally, and internationally. ERR has foreign correspondents in Moscow, Brussels, Washington DC, and Finland.

ETV is the most watched channel and ERR’s Vikerraadio is the most listened to radio station in Estonia. In 2020, ERR television channels received a total of 21.9% of real-time viewing, but only Raadio 4 – ERR’s Russian language service – saw its share of listeners increase from the previous year.

ERR’s Russian language television channel is ETV+. Launched in 2015, ETV+ aims to challenge the Russian state’s media sphere, although ERR deny the claim that ETV+ is Estonian propaganda. Having launched with a budget of €4 million, the channel’s budget is now just over €2 million. Despite this decreased funding, ETV+ reported almost 400,000 viewers in May 2021.

The number of visitors to the ERR online portal is also steadily increasing. It received 713,000 visitors per week in 2020. The portal is also available in English and Russian. When launched, ERR declared that the main aim of the English language portal – ERR News – is to inform the international community about Estonia. More recently, it has been linked to the fight against foreign disinformation campaigns.

Roughly two thirds of visits to the English language portal are from abroad. A weekly update called The Global Estonian Report targets the Estonian diaspora. It mainly reports on Estonian cultural events around the world.

ERR is planning the construction of a new broadcasting complex.

ERR’s radio programme “Media Hour” discusses various issues including the public broadcaster’s coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.

ERR has come under pressure from commercial media organisations in recent times. In 2020, The Estonian Association of Media Enterprises (EML), which represents TV, radio, print and online media, filed a complaint with the European Commission on grounds of “unfair competition”, arguing that state funding that contributes towards ERR’s online news services harms healthy competition in the Estonian media market.


Yleisradio Oy (YLE)

Radio | Television | Online

12

languages in
which
YLE
produces content

77%

believe they receive
very / fairly good
value for money

96%

of Finns are
reached by YLE
every week

In detail

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Yle is 99.9% state-owned. 

According to Yle, “As a national public service Yle is politically and financially independent. Freedom of speech is part of our values”. It is supervised by the Administrative Council appointed by Parliament and operates under the Act on Yleisradio Oy. 

According to the 2020 Board of Directors’ reports and financial statements, Yle’s governing bodies are the Administrative Council, Board of Directors and Chief Executive Offices. The Administrative Council elect members of the Board, including its Chair and Vice Chair. The Board of Directors elect the company’s management and monitors the productivity of operations. 

Since 2013, Yle has been funded via a special annual tax – the Yle tax – which is collected alongside income tax. It is dependent on an individual’s income. “The Yle tax is collected into a fund, which is not included in the annual state budget. A Value Added Tax charge of 10 % is deducted from the gross amount. The current financing model safeguards Yle’s independence and ensures that the organisation is financed directly by its owners, Finnish taxpayers” Yle states. 

The organisation also receives funding from commercial activities such as programmes and service sales and other operating income. 

Turnover (2020): €490.3 million. 

  • €483.7 million State Television and Radio Fund (98.7%) 
  • €3.9 million other income from programmes and service sales (0.8%) 
  • €2.6 million other operating income (0.5%) 

2,885 permanent employees across 25 locations as of 2020 

18 Finnish-language offices, 8 Swedish-language offices and one Sami-language office. 7 correspondents. 12 assistants. 

https://yle.fi/aihe/yles-year-2020  

Yle reaches 96% of Finns every week. It is also perceived to offer “the most popular online services in Finland”.  

According to a study by Taloustutkimus in autumn 2020: 

  • 85% of Finns thought that Yle’s contents and services were interesting 
  • 86% of Finns trust Yle’s news service 
  • 60% saw Yle as Finland’s number one news agency 
  • 70% of Finns believed that Yle is very reliable or fairly reliable, and 20% consider it very reliable. 
  • 77% of Finns feel that they receive very or fairly good value for their Yle tax payment 

Recent reports reveal that Yle is strongly reviewing its audio offerings in order to make it more relevant and diverse for future listeners. As listening habits evolve, Yle has plans to move away from live broadcasts towards airing more podcasts and other pre-recorded audio content. 

In other recent developments, the Finnish government has proposed to amend the Act on Yle by limiting the amount of text that Yle publishes online, so that it can only be published when accompanied by audio or visual content, or breaking news. This is in light of complaints by commercial media organisations that have questioned the appropriacy of public funding being used to publish text-only content on the public broadcaster’s website, and the unfair competition this creates in the media market. Similar debates are developing elsewhere. But Yle has also demonstrated an eagerness to expand its collaboration with commercial media, especially during the regional elections in 2022. 


France Télévisions (FT)

Radio | Television | Online

28.9%

audience share
in 2019

2/3

children engage
with at least one
youth programme

€160m

must cut
costs by 2022

In detail

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While France Télévisions is state-owned, its independence is assured in part by the fact it is funded through a licence fee. 

“The board of directors of France Télévisions has internal regulations which govern the operation and powers of this body and set up three specialized committees as well as a commitments subcommittee.” 

FT receives the majority of its funding from the Public Audiovisual Contribution (CAP) – what was previously the audiovisual licence fee. This is used to support all French public broadcasters. All individuals that are eligible to pay housing tax and own a television set must pay the 139 euros per year tax. Additional income comes from advertising revenue.

FT’s budget for 2018 was €2.8 billion.

Proposals to amend the audio-visual law, which would create a public media “superstructure” to bring together Radio France, France Television France Médias Monde and The National Audiovisual Institute (INA) under one holding company, ‘France Médias’ were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Radio France

Radio | Online

654.3m

turnover
in 2020

80 million

Radio France
podcasts downloaded
each month

200

concerts produced
each year

In detail

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Radio France is a public limited company; the State is the sole stakeholder.  

Its President and CEO is appointed by the public authority, Le Conseil Supérieur de L’audiovisuel (CSA) – the media regulator – for a five-year term. The current President/CEO is Sibyle Veil, since April 2018. 

The governance of Radio France is organised by three bodies: the Executive Committee; the Radio and Music Steering Committee and the Management Committee. They are all chaired by the President/CEO, and are collectively responsible for major decisions for Radio France. Its 12-member Board of Directors also serve a five-year term. This consists of the President of Radio France; 4 independent appointments by the CSA; and 4 state representatives’ (2 parliamentarians and 2 elected staff representatives). It is the Board’s responsibility to ensure that Radio France adheres to its objectives and regulations; the proper functioning of its services as well as objectivity and accuracy of information and to promote pluralism. 

A specialised committee on the Honesty, Independence and Pluralism of Radio France’ information and programmes was created in November 2016 to strengthen its freedom, independence and pluralism. The committee consists of five independent individuals appointed by the Board of Directors for a three-year term. 

Radio France states that it “reports to the assemblies, the CSA and Court of Auditors… and communicates in full transparency on its operation and its financial results.” According to the organisation, “Independence is our raison d’être as a public service media. This is what sets us apart from our audiences. We guarantee freedom of expression and pluralism of currents of thought and opinion… Internally, we ensure the editorial freedom of our teams, and encourage their creativity while respecting differences. Everyone is free to assert their freedom of opinion, expression and creation.” 

Radio France’s main source of funding (86.4%) is derived from the Public Audiovisual Contribution (CAP) tax – what was previously the audiovisual licence fee. The money earned from the tax is given to public audiovisual companies such as Radio France, and also including France Télévisions, Arte-France, RFO, RFI and the National Audiovisual Institute. Anyone “liable to housing tax and having a television set” must pay it, which costs €139 per year. In 2020, Radio France received €577.4 million from CAP. 

Radio France generates the remaining 13.6% of income from its own resources, mainly through commercial activities such as advertising, ticketing, concerts, space rentals and more. 

It recorded a turnover of €654.3M for 2020 (3% less than 2019). 

Since 2019, Radio France has been implementing cost-cutting measures. Management plans require €60 million in savings by 2022 and a proposed cut of 299 jobs.    

Radio France has around 15 million listeners every day; during the COVID-19 pandemic, there were 15.9 million listeners daily – an unprecedented record in the history of Radio France. 

Radio France considers itself a leader in podcasting. It has recorded 34 million listens on demand. France Inter is the “1st radio station in France” with 6.5 million daily listeners, while news station franceinfo is the “3rd largest radio station in France” with close to 5 million daily listeners. Franceinfo’s website reaches around 40% of Internet users. Meanwhile, Mouv – its radio station targeted for younger listeners – has recorded a sharp increase in listening time. It also has a large digital presence, with 735,000 YouTube subscribers and 367,000 Instagram subscribers. 

According to the 2021 Reuters Institute Digital News Reportpublic radio news via France Inter and other services reach around 15% of the population weekly offline. 60% trust France Info, 56% trust France Inter and 51% trust France Bleu. 

In recent years, there have been proposals to amend the French audiovisual law to bring Radio France, France TélévisionsFrance Médias Monde and the National Audiovisual Institute (INA) under one holding company – a public media superstructure. However, plans have been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That said, recent reports reveal that Radio France and France Télévisions will launch a new local digital media venture in March 2022. The regional radio network France Bleu and TV channel France 3 are joining forces in a new editorial offer with a personalised, interactive and geolocated focus on “local life”, combining “information, culture, discovery, entertainment”. It will include a website, mobile sites and apps. Radio France has also recently been experimenting with other digital innovations such as creating children’s content for voice assistants. 

Regarding the wider media landscape, France ranks 34th in RSF’s 2021 World Press Freedom Index. But according to Freedom House, while the “media generally operate freely and represent a wide range of political opinions” it notes that “there were some incidents of violence against journalists in 2020.” Journalists were attacked while reporting on protests relating to a proposed controversial global security bill, which could impact media workers’ ability to hold authorities to account. Moreover, high concentration of media ownership also remains a concern. The Senate launched an inquiry into media concentration in France in November to examine media concentration, the processes behind it, and its impact on democracy. 


Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Offentlich-Rechtlichen Rundfunkanstalten Deutschlands (ARD)

Radio | Television | Online

6million

approx. daily
listeners under 30
to radio programme

250hrs

of television
programming
per day

#1

trusted news
brand in
Germany

In detail

Click on the headings below for more information


In its Public Value brochure, ARD states: “Public funding, coupled with oversight by society through supervisory boards, ensures that reporting is reliable, fair and free of political and commercial influences.”

ARD’s mandate and remit are set out in state broadcasting statutes and the German State Media Treaty – the latter is determined by all state parliaments and provides basic regulations for public and private broadcasting and determines, among other things, the number of channels that is adequate to provide a public service and how much funding ARD receives from radio fees and advertising.

While all regional broadcasters are self-governing – they have their own board of directors and broadcasting councils – the supervisory body, the GVK, examines the joint activities of the ARD network, coordinates the committee activities of ARD, and advises on programme design, corporate strategy and more.

The chairmanship of ARD rotates between the regional broadcasters. Each term lasts one year but chairmanship can be renewed once. Thomas Buhrow of WDR has been the chairman since January 2020. The chairman conducts the activities of the working group, manages general meetings, and at the end of a term of management, submits a final report to the general meeting. The chairman and managing broadcaster (currently WDR) are supported in matters such as ARD’s strategy, representation and public relations, by the general secretariat, based in Berlin.

By law, every German household must pay a monthly fee of EUR 17.50 to support public television and radio (ARD, ZDF, and Deutschlandradio). The fee collects about EUR 8 billion annually from 45 million households. The household fee was introduced in 2013. Before then, the fee was charged according to the number of devices (television, radio, or computer devices) per household. Commercial businesses are also charged for property and based on their staff size. In 2018, the fee’s method of collection was the subject of a court case before Germany’s top court and it was ruledthat the monthly fee based by household is constitutional.

In providing a breakdown of the use of the EUR 17.50 monthly fee for 2018 and 2019, ARD said, “Since January 1, 2017, ARD’s share of the monthly 17.50 euros has been 12.31 euros (previously 12.37 euros).”

According to ARD’s ‘Mass Communication’ study, television reaches around 80% of the population daily and radio reaches around 74%.

ARD’s news programme, ‘Tagesschau’ is the most trusted news brand in Germany, with around 70% of people claiming to trust it, according to the RISJ Digital News Report 2020.

ARD’s reach is expanding via new social media platforms. On TikTok, ARD’s largest audience group is between 13 and 17 years old. ARD’s editor-in-chief for social media said “These are students who often come into contact with news on our account for the very first time. We try to create understandable access and to answer their questions about politics and society in our videos.”

ARD has continued to produce special programming on the coronavirus pandemic, providing in-depth news and information about the current situation in Germany and educational home-schooling offers for children and young people. Barrier-free information has been made available in sign language and plain language.

ARD media workers also experienced verbal and physical attacks while covering anti-lockdown protests last year.

Since plans to increase the licence fee for ARD, ZDF and Deutschlandradio to €18.36 by the start of 2021 were rejected after Saxony-Anhalt was the only state to refuse to vote in its favour, all German public broadcasters have implemented cost-cutting measures and restructuring processes to address financial pressures. (More information about ARD’s specific reforms and cost-cutting here.)

In June 2020, ARD and ZDF announced the development of a joint streaming network, which will connect their shared library of over 250,000 films, documentaries, satires and series.


Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF)

Radio | Television | Online

86%

of audience
trust ZDF's
pandemic coverage

90%

Funding from
household
fee

In detail

Click on the headings below for more information


Ownership: Public 

ZDF is managed as an independent non-profit corporation under the authority of Germany’s sixteen states. Its 60-member governing body, the ZDF Television Council, represents the general public’s interests while its 14-member Administrative Council is responsible for budget control and corporate guidelines. 

€17.50 household fee funds 90% of ZDF’s program work ZDF’s monthly share of the household fee is 4.36. To supplement its income, ZDF relies on advertising and sponsorship 

2019 funding breakdown: 

€1,918 million income from broadcasting fees 

€173 million income from television advertising 

€139 million other income, including sponsorship  

Source: https://www.zdf.de/zdfunternehmen/factsandfigures-100.html

ZDF audience share for Free TV in Germany: 13% (2019) 

In January 2021, ZDF achieved a market share of 15.1% – this is the highest value in January since 1995. 

86% of German public media TV news users rate the corona crisis coverage of ARD and ZDF as trustworthy – the highest attributed credibility of all media on offer.

3,600 permanent employees and a similar number of freelancers in Mainz and Berlin offices and across 16 domestic and 19 foreign studios. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, ZDF has provided special broadcasts for COVID-19 updates and educational and home-schooling content amid school closures. ZDF has also announced measures that the organisation would be taking to help fund producers contributing to its content by paying for half of the additional costs in light of the coronavirus outbreak. 

Most recently, a planned increase in the household fee was rejected despite the financial pressures facing public broadcasters. This has caused many of the public broadcasters to implement cost-cutting measures to make up for a shortfall in projected funding.

Read our latest report: How are German public broadcasters responding to the rejection of the licence fee increase?


Gibraltar Broadcasting Corporation (GBC)

Radio | Television | Online

58 years

operating as
a PSB

65%

of content on
GBC TV is
locally produced

£2.5m

funds raised
from GBC's
Open Day

In detail

Click on the headings below for more information


GBC is an independent statutory body that is publicly owned.

It has a Board of Governors, appointed by the Government of Gibraltar in consultation with the opposition, which ensures that GBC’s broadcasts adhere to its responsibilities under the Broadcasting Act of 2012. According to GBC, ‘Among other issues, this specifies that programmes are not offensive and remain politically impartial at all times. The Board also oversees the Corporation’s finances.’

The Gibraltar Regulatory Authority (GRA) issues the ‘Codes of Practices’ under the Broadcasting Act, which includes Programme Standards, Impartiality, Accuracy & Undue Prominence, Right of Reply, Commercial Communications and Access Services.

According to the Corporation, GBC’s funding revenue is split between 94% from the national budget and the remaining 6% from commercial activities. 

Its 2019/2020 accounts reveal that GBC’s total revenue in 2020 was £5,849,349 (2019 £5,531,997). This was broken down into: 

  • Contributions by Government of Gibraltar £5,512,967 (2019 £5,236,221)
  • Advertising £334,587 (2019 £294,948)
  • Premium lines £1,793 (2019 £828)

A statement in the 2019/2020 Accounts report outlines: ‘With respect to the Government grants for the fiscal year 2020/2021, the budget has been kept at the same level as 2019/2020 and payments are now made on a monthly basis. Changes in the estimates of income and expenditure were made… Should the funds fall short, the Corporation will request for supplementary funding from the Government.’ 

As of 2018 – 83 (Full time 56, Part time 24)

Since the revamp, GBC has not increased recruitment. According to the 2019/2020 Accounts report, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Corporation ‘is not filling in any vacant position until necessary’.

According to GBC, Radio Gibraltar is consistently the most listened to station in Gibraltar. While the only independent commercial radio station, Rock Radio, closed last year, Gibraltarians are also serviced by the British Forces Broadcasting Service.

News and Current Affairs programmes are the most popular on GBC TV.

GBC has recently undergone a rebrand and launched a new identity, with a fresh and modern logo, revamped programmes, and a move to new premises. GBC has already begun broadcasting in its new studios with new facilities. This includes a larger production studio, dedicated news studio and new camera technology. These plans have been in the making for four years. As part of the rebrand, in October, the channel said goodbye to long-standing programme Newswatch. The bulletin, which ran for 30 years, has been renamed GBC News. It will still be at the same timeslot of 8.30pm while a shorter bulletin – GBC News in Brief – will be on air at 7pm.

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, GBC began airing the daily Government COVID-19 news conference on all platforms. It also launched three daily listener forums on radio, which enabled ‘listeners to join the national conversation during the unprecedented times.’

However, GBC did experience some challenges while reporting during COVID-19, having been declined permission to film inside a hospital ‘based on clinical advice’.


Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ)

Radio | Television | Online

#1

remains most
trusted source
of news in ROI (78%)

80.3%

RTÉ One has
an audience
reach of 80.3%

35%

more 15-34s
are watching
RTÉ in 2020

In detail

Click on the headings below for more information


RTÉ is a statutory body overseen by a board appointed by the Republic of Ireland’s government.

RTÉ is dual funded. It is part-funded by the Licence Fee, which costs €160 a year. Any household with a television set must pay. Money goes to the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, which then provides RTÉ with 85% of the amount. The remaining income comes from advertising and other commercial activities.

Breakdown of 2018 revenue:

Commercial Revenue: €150,000,000 (2017: €151,500,000)

Licence Fee Revenue: €189,100,000 (2017: €186,100,000)

Total Revenue: €339,100,000 (2017: €337,600,000)

RTÉ One has a reach of 80.3% and a share of 21 (October 2020). RTÉ is reaching over 2 million radio listeners (2,004,000) every week, representing 51% of the adult 15+ population. This is an increase of 26,000 people tuning in since the last JNLR release and 20,000 more on this time last year on year.

Meanwhile, 55% of Irish adults use a digital service from RTÉ every week. According to the B&A Survey published in November 2019, RTÉ.ie is the Number 1 multi-media website in Ireland, used by 38% of Irish adults and 13 million monthly unique browsers.

RTÉ also remains the most trusted source of news amongst Irish adults (77%).

In June 2021, the Irish Media Commission shared in a Parliamentary hearing that they were seriously considering moving away from a device-dependent licence fee – which they believe is now “outdated” – and replacing it with a household levy and possibly receiving direct Government funding (although this avenue would require a detailed review to ensure that RTÉ remains independent from political interference.

According to TRP research released in May 2020, RTÉ was considered the most recognised brand for supporting the nation during the COVID-19 crisis.

3.9 million individuals or 90% of the Irish TV population tuned in to RTÉ’s television services over the 11-week period (2nd March to 17th May 2020). It was also a widely used source among younger viewers, with 35% more 15-34s are watching RTÉ, and 30% more children tuning in.

At 31 December 2018, there were 1,822 employees.


Latvijas Televīzija (Latvian Television)

Television | Online

70.3%

of Latvians find
Latvian Television
useful

100%

Latvian Television
is 100% state-funded

#22

in RSF's 2021
World Press
Freedom Index

In detail

Click on the headings below for more information


Latvian Television is state-owned.

LTV is currently regulated by the National Electronic Media Council (NEPLP). This council is functionally independent, although reliant upon state funding and elected by the Latvian parliament. Ivars Āboliņš has been the chairperson of the NEPLP since 2019. In the same year, the NEPLP was criticised for selecting inexperienced board members for Latvian Television. These members resigned and the NEPLP subsequently reduced the size of the LTV board to just one member. The current single member of the Latvian Television board is Ivars Priede.

However, the Law on Public Electronic Mass Media and Administration Thereof, which came into effect in January 2021, provides for the creation of the Public Electronic Media Council (SEPLP), which will be separate from the existing NEPLP and act as the shareholder of public media, holding responsibility for the management and development of public media. The SEPLP is not yet active as its membership has not been approved by parliament. Once all three members are confirmed, the new council will be tasked with developing a unified funding model for public media and implementing a plan to merge Latvian Television and Latvian Radio into a single entity.

Latvian Television is 100% state funded.

Until 2021, PSM in Latvia operated under a hybrid funding model. The state provided 60% of Latvian Television’s funding, with the remaining funding coming from advertising. Latvian Radio had previously drawn attention to the small portion of the state budget received by Latvian PSM, compared to PSM in other European countries, and talked of a funding crisis.

As of 2021, Latvian Television, Latvian Radio and the LSM.lv are funded solely by the Latvian state, having secured the required government funding for their exit from the advertising market. €8.3 million has been allocated to PSM for the 2021 budget, to ensure its stability and development.

However, the current funding model is considered restrictive and unstable, according to Jānis Siksnis of the Baltic Centre for Media Excellence, who supports a tax-based model. Siksnis has been announced as one of the nominations to the new Public Electronic Media Council (SEPLP) but is still awaiting appointment by parliament. The recent law which established the SEPLP also states that annual funding for public media from the state budget must not be less than that of the previous of the year.

In 2019, 69.6% of Latvians thought that PSM should be state-funded. The study found that only 14.6% would support a licence fee funding model.

In 2016, LTV1 was the second most watched channel. Latvian Television’s other channel, LTV7, features selected Russian language broadcasts.

VISIEMLTV, launched in 2017, is an online channel targeting the Latvian diaspora. The channel’s programming is sourced from LTV’s other two channels, but unlike them, it can be streamed live from outside of Latvia.

 

Latvian Television began broadcasting in HD resolution in May 2021.

The chairman of the NEPLP has announced that a new, more ambitious, Russian language multimedia platform is set to take over the role of Latvian Television’s LTV7. It will also be hosted by the LSM portal.

The parliamentary vote to approve the three nominated members of the new Public Electronic Media Council (SEPLP) is expected to take place in early July but the President of Latvia has yet to announce his nomination.


Swedish Radio (SR)

Radio | Online

7 million

number
of weekly
listeners

74%

general public
confidence in
SR

#3

World Press
Freedom Index
Ranking 2021 (RSF)

In detail

Click on the headings below for more information


Since 1997, SR – along with Sweden’s other public broadcasters, SVT and UR – has been owned by Förvaltningsstiftelsen, a management foundation funded by the public. The foundation was created to promote the independence of the country’s three public broadcasters by acting as a buffer between them, the Riksdag (legislature) and the government. The foundation is responsible for appointing SR’s 9-member board (one chairman and eight members). Currently, there are no politicians on SR’s board (nor that of SVT and UR).  

Furthermore, SR operates under a broadcasting licence from the government, which mandates that it “shall conduct audio radio operations in the service of the public and that the operations shall be characterised by independence and strong integrity and be conducted independently in relation to economic, political and other interests.” When it comes to funding, SR states that to strengthen independence and maintain distance from the state, “Even if the public service fee is not formally included in the state budget, there is still a risk that public service will be weighed against other expenses in a way that was not done before, when the activities were financed with the radio and television fee. The Government has therefore appointed an inquiry to review the possibility of constitutionally protecting public service, which would mean that a qualified majority would be required for certain decisions on operations and financing.

SR is funded through a public service fee that is charged via the tax slip. “The public service fee must be paid by anyone over the age of 18 who has a taxable earned income. The fee is 1 percent of the income up to a ceiling, at most SEK 1,300 per person and year.” SR receives 35.9% of the public service fee. The funding terms identify SR’s annual financial resources and its expected deliverables. The public service fee was introduced on 1 January 2019 after the radio and television fee (which was charged for households in possession of a television receiver) was scrapped. It was introduced due to the belief that radio and television play a key role in public service and must therefore be funded collectively, regardless of someone’s individual usage. The funds from the public service fee “go to a special account managed by the Swedish Chamber of Commerce. The money is reserved for the three public service companies and cannot be used for anything else.”  

SR records around 7 million listeners each week. According to SR, it has a “high level of trust among listeners”. It said that, throughout the 2000s, around 70% of the population have consistently reported very high or fairly high confidence in its content. 

SR also revealed that confidence among the public increased during the COVID-19 pandemic: “The SOM Institute today presents a survey on media confidence development during the coronavirus pandemic. Sveriges Radio’s confidence increases, especially among the groups that consume a lot of news, where 87 percent have high or very high confidence in Sveriges Radio. Among the general public, confidence increases to 74 percent. Together with sharply increased listener numbers during the spring, it shows that media consumers turn to Swedish Radio when they are looking for updated and correct information in a crisis situation.”

According to SR, it broadcasts “news and programmes in over ten languages, four nationwide channels, 25 local channels, the digital content with all podcasts and the Berwaldhallen concert hall with choir and orchestra.” Furthermore, SR said its transmission is divided into five core components: the news assignment; the emergency mission; the cultural mission; radio for children and young people; and accessibility and participation for all (with particular focus on people with disabilities, children and young people, and languages for all).

SR broadcasts in more than 10 languages, including Sweden’s national minority languages (Finnish, Sami, Meänkieli, Romani Chib and Yiddish) and languages spoken by new arrivals (Arabic, English, Kurdish, Persian, Somali, and Tigrinya – a temporary investment). SR also provides what it calls “easy Swedish”, which sees the use of a simpler language and more in-depth background explanations to cater for newcomers to Sweden. 

In early 2020, SR announced that its mission for the next few years would be to develop its digital news offerings: “We are looking at what the local radio of the future will be, to ensure that Sweden’s largest radio channel P4 – with 3.4 million listeners – continues to give the audience a radio that is present in people’s everyday lives. We also review radio sports, events and charts to find the best ways to reach all our target audiences, no matter how they want to listen.” Further emphasis has been placed on local coverage: in September 2020, SR announced that it would open pop-up editorial offices for its P4 Channel, for three weeks at a time, in three locations, in a bid to strengthen the journalistic coverage of more remote and rural regions.  

https://sverigesradio.se/artikel/7589904

SR’s mission: https://sverigesradio.se/artikel/1971435
Info SR’s management foundation: https://sverigesradio.se/artikel/6019017 
SR’s public service mandate: https://sverigesradio.se/artikel/5790860 
Info on SR’s funding: https://sverigesradio.se/artikel/1971507 
SR’s broadcast languages: https://sverigesradio.se/artikel/6493902 
SR’s announcement of pop-up offices: https://sverigesradio.se/artikel/7554348 
Press release on increased public confidence in SR: https://sverigesradio.se/artikel/7569381 


Swedish Television (SVT)

Television | Online

20+

languages
available 
across
SVT platforms

#1

trusted news
brand in
Sweden

81%

reach in
2019

In detail

Click on the headings below for more information


Public 

SVT is limited company owned by Förvaltningsstiftelsena foundation funded by the public. The foundation was created in 1997 to promote the independence of Sweden’s three public broadcasters by acting as a buffer between theand the Riksdag (legislature) and the government. While its 13-member board is formally appointed following proposals from the political partiesactive members of the Riksdag cannot serve as members of the foundation. The foundation is responsible for appointing SR’s 9-member board (one chairman and eight members). 

SVT is funded through a public service fee that was introduced in January 2019 due to the belief that radio and television play a key role in public service and must therefore be funded collectively, regardless of someone’s individual usage. The fee is collected via the tax slip, which charges 1% of the taxable earned income of anyone over the age of 18, up to a ceiling of SEK 1,300 per person annually. 

SVT receives 58.9% of the public service fee. Most of SVT’s income comes from the tax (SEK 5.100 million in 2019) while it receives other income from sponsoring, royalties, co-productions, appropriation, products, technology, and licences (SEK 303 million in 2019). SVT’s programming is noncommercial and advertising is not allowed. However, the sponsorship of sports events is permitted.

Since 2014, SVT has achieved just under its target of 90% reach (in 2019, its reach was 81%). In 2019, the average person used SVT for 53 minutes a day. SVT produces just over 22,000 hours of TV programs, with over 3,200 hours of local news.  

SVT ranks consistently well, with very large or fairly large value for society (68% in 2019); very large or fairly large value for individuals (59% in 2019); a very high or fairly high confidence in SVT (77% in 2019); and knowledge about SVT’s existing services (93% in 2019). 

With the pandemic, “the proportion of people who regard SVT as having a “fairly or very high value for society” has risen by 10% to 79%.” In a survey, which took place between April and July 2020, 81expressed very high or fairly high confidence in SVT’s content. This is the highest rating a media company has received for its content in a SOM survey. Confidence increases in all groups, regardless of age, party sympathies or whether you live in the city or in the countrysideSVT said. 

As part of its plans to invest more heavily in local journalism, SVT said that it will open four new newsrooms in 2021 in FagerstaFlemingsbergLund, and Sveg. Within three years, the public broadcaster intends to expand with ten new newsrooms so that SVT’s reporters are available in 50 locations around the country. 

Along with other Nordic public media, SVT is collaborating to produce a stronger and better range of children’s content, with 14 new series a year.  

SVT’s role: https://omoss.svt.se/var-roll.html 

SVT’s channels and services: https://omoss.svt.se/var-roll/kanaler-och-tjanster.html 

SVT’s facts and figures on special assignments and target groups: https://siffror.svt.se/sarskilda-uppdrag-och-malgrupper.html 

SVT’s mission: https://omoss.svt.se/var-roll/organisation.html 

Info on Corporate Governance: https://omoss.svt.se/var-roll/organisation/bolagsstyrning.html 

SVT’s apps information: https://omoss.svt.se/var-roll/kanaler-och-tjanster/svts-appar.html 

Page and video on figures: https://omoss.svt.se/var-roll/siffror.html 

How SVT uses its income: https://siffror.svt.se/sa-anvands-pengarna.html 

Figures on how SVT performs in specific areas (trust, quality, knowledge of its services, etc.): https://siffror.svt.se/det-har-vill-svt.html 

SOM’s special survey: https://omoss.svt.se/arkiv/nyhetsarkiv/2020-10-07-historiskt-hogt-fortroende-for-svts-innehall.html 


Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SRG SSR)

Radio | Television | Online

95%

SRG SSR
share of the
licence fee

13

languages via
regional broadcast
channels & swissinfo.ch

60%

weekly reach
via television

In detail

Click on the headings below for more information


The 2006 Swiss Radio and Television Act (RTVG) and other relevant regulation ensure independence from the state, and SRG SSR’s Charter provides guidance for the public broadcasters’ tasks and editorial and journalistic standards. While the government specifies activities, funding and organisation, according to SRG SSR, it is the Swiss Federal Constitution that guarantees the public broadcaster’s independence and “prevents anybody from interfering in our editorial work.”

SRG SSR is funded by a combination of a licence fee (primary source – about 78% of funding) and revenue from commercial offerings such as sponsorships and advertisements (secondary source – 22% of funding). SRG SSR says it is the largest media house in Switzerland with a turnover of CHF 1.5 billion (SRG SSR, Facts and Figures 19/20). When it comes to distribution of revenue, Gilles Marchand, CEO of SRG SSR, said: “It should be pointed out that we have a very unusual equalisation system here in Switzerland: the German-speaking areas generate 73% of SRG revenues (advertising and licence fees) and retain 45%. The Italian-speaking region generates 4% and receives 22%. Meanwhile, the French-speaking part generates 23% and receives 32%.”

“No billag”

SRG SSR faced a threat to its funding in 2018 with the “No Billag” referendum. The Swiss public was asked to vote whether to remove the Swiss licence fee (Billag) for radio and TV, of which the public broadcaster benefits from 95% while 34 private radio stations and TV channels benefit 5%. With the referendum, 71.6% of voters rejected the removal of the fee. While this was ultimately a win for SRG SSR, there were consequences of the referendum whereby in 2018, the broadcaster had to undertake a cost-cutting reorganisation to save at least 100 million Swiss francs. PMA reported, “In April 2019, a series of cost cutting measures were announced including the integration of particular units as well as the potential loss of 40 jobs, including 20 through layoffs and early retirement.” The 2019 financial year saw the licence fee income fall by CHF50 million. Meanwhile, In April 2020, parliament agreed to increase the broadcaster’s funding by CHF50 million to CHF1.25 billion per year. However, CEO Marchand does not foresee this funding injection as sufficient to cover future lost revenues. From 1 January 2019, a new device-independent radio and TV fee was applied to households and companies. “For households, the radio and tv contribution will amount to 365 francs a year. For companies with an annual turnover of over 500,000 francs, the yearly contribution will vary between 365 and 35,590 francs a year, depending on their turnover,” SRG SSR said.

> Radio broadcast output: Three stations each for the German, French and Italian language regions (Radio SRF 1, Radio SRF 2, Radio SRF 3, La Première, Espace 2, Couleurs 3, Rete Uno, Rete Due, Rete Tre); one Rhaeto-Romansh station (Radio Rumantsch); one younger listener station for German-speaking Switzerland (SRF Radio Virus); one German-speaking information station (SRF 4 News); one station each for the German and French language regions, which gives a broad platform for folk music culture Radio (“SRF Musikwelle” – German, “Option Musique” – French); one music station each for classical, jazz and pop for all language regions, with Swiss artists accounting for a share of at least 50 percent (Radio Swiss Classic, Radio Swiss Jazz).

> Television broadcast output: Two channels each for the German, French and Italian language regions in HD quality (SRF 1, SRF 2, RTS 1, RTS 2, RSI LA 1, RSI LA 2); Programmes in Rhaeto-Romansh on SRF 1, SRF Info, RTS 1, RSI LA 1, RSI LA 2; One German-language repeat programme (SRF Info); online television in all language regions, with continuously updated information and programme information without advertising and without sponsorship (SRF Play, RTS Play, RSI Play, RTR Play, SWI Play)

> Other services: Teletext, a publishing service for outside Switzerland (swissinfo.ch; French-language programmes on TV5Monde, German-language programmes on 3Sat, and Italian-language programmes on tvsvizzera.it); online services (such as srf.ch, rts.ch, rsi.ch, rtr.ch, swi.ch, nouvo.ch, apps, and social media), and hybrid broadcast broadband TV (HbbTV).

Reach: SRG’s television channels reach 60% of the Swiss population every week, and its radio stations reach 61%. 33% of Swiss citizens access SRG’s online services every week.

Trust: RTS News is the most trusted Swiss French media outlet (76%) and SRF News is the most trusted Swiss German media outlet (also 76%) according to the Reuters’ Institute Digital News Report 2020.

Languages: Italian (RTI), Romansch (RTR), French (RTS), and German (SRF). Also, English, Russian, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Arabic and Japanese via SWI (Swissinfo.ch).

SRG SRR has around 6,000 employees (subsidiaries not included).

As with many European public broadcasters that have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, SRG SSR said in September 2020 that further job cuts were unavoidable due to continually declining revenues from the licence fee and advertising. The public broadcaster has also fleshed out future strategy details to meet evolving media consumption demands. In November 2020, the public broadcaster also launched a new streaming platform called Play Suisse featuring content produced by RSI, RTR, RTS and SRF.

Header Image: ZDF Symbol At The Capital Studio In Berlin. Credit: cries/istock