TV fees: Is Germany getting its money worth?

More than half of Germans feel their public television isn't worth what they pay in licence fees. Is German TV worth €17.89 a month or must broadcasters up their game? Have your say.

TV fees: Is Germany getting its money worth?
Photo: DPA

Polling group YouGov asked Germany what it thought about the telly on offer, and 51 percent said that they “absolutely did not agree” that the selection of programmes was worth the price tag. Just seven percent said that they “absolutely agreed.”

In fact, two thirds of those asked said that they felt ARD and ZDF state broadcasters had plenty of room for improvement.

German public television is known for its staid shows without evening advert breaks, but foreign sitcoms are often shown on private channels with lots of commercials.

For decades, many people dodged paying the obligatory GEZ TV fees for public broadcasting. Yet at the beginning of 2013, German law changed meaning every single household had to pay for a licence, regardless of whether or not it has a television or radio. The price has remained the same from before the switch, prompting 78 percent of those YouGov asked to say they thought it was too high.

Should Germany lower its fees in order to appease unhappy viewers, admitting defeat to increasingly popular foreign sitcoms?

Or should Germany’s public broadcasters think about changing what they air, perhaps using money from the TV license payments to make more engaging television? Have your say.

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