Over 800,000 Registrations for New ORF Fee

Over 800,000 Registrations for New ORF Fee

APA/THEMENBILD/HERBERT NEUBAUER

 

Austria’s new public broadcaster fee, the ORF-Beitrag, has received 813,000 registrations in the first six months since its introduction, according to a report by Der Standard on Thursday.

The figure, which was provided in response to an inquiry from the newspaper, includes applications for exemption, although the exact number of exemptions is unknown.

The ORF-Beitrag replaces the previous ORF-Gebühr, or GIS system, which was not only more expensive but also unpopular due to front-door checks by GIS employees to ensure payment.

In March 2023, when the government approved the ORF-Beitrag, there were 3.2 million GIS customers. Speaking on ORF that month, ORF Director General Ronald Weißmann described up to 700,000 households as “illicit viewers.”

The fee is mandatory for all households in Austria, regardless of whether they consume public radio or television, or even possess receiving devices.

In Vienna, the fee is set at €15.30 per month, amounting to €183.60 annually, but the rate varies across Austria’s nine federal states. By law, the ORF is not permitted to increase the fee until the end of 2026.

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