Who We Are - About Bayerischer Rundfunk
BR's headquarters in Munich Ι Photograph: BR/Simon Heimbuchner

Who we are

Bayerischer Rundfunk , BR for short, is Bavaria's public broadcasting service with around eight million viewers and listeners tuning in every day throughout Germany. With ten radio stations and two television channels, two internationally renowned symphony orchestras, a celebrated chorus and more than five thousand members of staff, we are one of Europe's most respected broadcast institutions. BR operates broadcast centres in Munich and Nuremberg and numerous regional offices throughout Bavaria.

BR makes a significant contribution to the ARD network which consists of nine regional public broadcasters and the external service Deutsche Welle. We provide a broad range of exceptional productions for the five main ARD TV channels (available by satellite in most European countries): Das Erste , ARD’s flagship station; the cultural channels ARTE and 3sat; KiKA , the advert-free children’s channel; and the current affairs and documentary channel phoenix.

A Passion for Film

BR has acquired a first-rate international reputation for outstanding feature films and high-quality documentaries. BR productions and co-productions have received numerous awards, among them even the coveted Oscar®. Support for up-and-coming young filmmakers is a particular strength at BR, and the broadcaster has paved the way for many German directors’ first films and thus their careers.

Film crew on set Ι Photograph: BR/Max Hofstetter
Microphone lying on a desk in an office at BR with a journalist working in the background Ι Photograph: BR/Simon Heimbuchner

Our Mission

The Bavarian Broadcasting Law sets the following guidelines: “(The broadcast) should have a democratic orientation and be culturally responsible and be objective in the service of humanity while maintaining the Bavarian character. Bayerischer Rundfunk gives the broadcast audience a complete and objective overview of international, national and Bavarian happenings in all areas of life.”

  • BR’s mission is defined as
    • Information
    • Arts
    • Education
    • Entertainment

How We Are Governed

Bayerischer Rundfunk was founded in 1949 as a non-profit public-service broadcaster. It is chartered through the Bavarian State Constitution and the Bavarian Broadcasting Law of 1948.

Adherence to the public programming mandate is monitored by a broadcasting council. It consists of representatives of the major organised social groups (e.g. political parties, trade unions, industrial management, churches, youth organisations, universities, cultural institutions). They represent the interests of the public, i.e. of all the listeners and viewers. At the same time, an administrative council monitors the overall activities of BR and its Director-General.

Blue flags with the BR logo Ι Photograph: BR/Max Hofstetter
BR’s outside broadcast vehicle on the road in Bavaria Ι Photograph: BR/Simon Heimbuchner

How We Are Funded

As a public-service broadcaster, BR's mission is to deliver programmes aimed at society as a whole. In other words: high-quality, independent, non-commercial programming that provides information, gives advice and entertains.

All of this is made possible by the license fee, which accounts for the lion's share of our funding. It is currently set at €18.36 per month. BR also generates revenue from advertising and sponsoring, although this remains a very limited source of income. License fees are payable regardless of equipment or television/radio usage. A simple rule applies to all consumers: One residence, one fee. Companies and institutions also participate in financing the public broadcasting system.

The Numbers behind Bayerischer Rundfunk

Staff (permanent/freelance) approx. 5,200
Annual budget just over €1 bn
Daily listeners/viewers in Germany approx. 8 m
BR Radio: market share in Bavaria 48.6% (2021)
BR Television: market share in Bavaria 7.9% (2020)

BR is competing successfully in a very challenging environment. Currently, Bavaria has around 80 private radio stations and approx. 30 local/regional commercial TV stations.

Skyline of central Munich with BR's headquarters in the background Ι Photograph: BR/Simon Heimbuchner
nach oben