ARD is a joint organisation of Germany's regional public-service broadcasters. It was founded in 1950 in West Germany to represent the common interests of the new, decentralised, post-war broadcasting services – in particular the introduction of a joint television network. The ARD has a budget of €6.9 billion, 22,612 employees and is the largest public broadcaster network in the world. The budget comes primarily from a licence fee which every household, company and public institution are required by law to pay. For an ordinary household the fee is currently €18.36 per month. Households living on welfare are exempt from the fee. The fees are not collected directly by the ARD, but by the Beitragsservice (formerly known as Gebühreneinzugszentrale GEZ), a common organisation of the ARD member broadcasters, the second public TV broadcaster ZDF, and Deutschlandradio. More information...

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