The KEF states that it is necessary to increase the retransmission fee. Some politicians, however, say that won't happen. It's about 58 cents.

Satellite dishes on a roof.

Satellite dishes on the roof of the ARD capital studio in Berlin Photo: Ingo Schulz/McPhoto/imago

In reality the story is as old as it is known. The KEF financial commission calculates the new transmission fee. The states decide everything and that's it. But since this would be too boring, Saxony's Media Minister Oliver Schenk (CDU) brings atmosphere to the Central German Media Days stand.

The 58 cent increase in contributions specified by the KEF and to be implemented on January 1 “won't happen,” says Schenk, “we have to be honest about it.” Then his colleague Heike Raab (SPD) from Rhineland-Palatinate, who coordinates the federal broadcasting policy with Schenk, everything gets out of hand. It was probably not realized that there would be such an open contradiction here.

Schenk then warns ARD and ZDF not to resort directly to the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe for gossip, as happened with the contribution litigation initiated by Saxony-Anhalt in 2020. It would be a “pyrrhic victory” that would prove counterproductive and “further weaken the acceptance of public broadcasters.”

To which the group's moderator explains that here “a Minister of State openly calls for a violation of the Constitution” and that Schenk would like to be arrested in the public arena. Now Michaela Kolster from the public events channel Phoenix is ​​quite close by. Furthermore, anything can be said on media panels because he is protected by freedom of expression.

Idiot!

The elephant is also in the Leipzig room. “The elephant is blue and annoying,” says Thuringian Culture Minister Benjamin Immanuel Hoff (Die Linke). Of course, it is not about the “Sendung mit der Maus” and his little friend, but about the AfD. “As politicians, with our populist contribution, we are also part of the delegitimization of public broadcasters,” says Hoff.

Institutions, with their structures that are too cumbersome and slow, could follow the example of so much self-criticism.

But in Leipzig they prefer to get drunk on their own pace of reform, prompting Hoff to say a charmingly blasphemous: “Wow!” said the snail sitting on the tortoise. “It is necessary to reach an agreement on the lowest common denominator. “But you shouldn't be left behind,” Hoff says. “And who does open words and criticism hurt more than help, and what is really happening?” asks the roommate.

But from a legal perspective, one of these lowest common denominators is that a KEF recommendation is binding. And according to Raab, the increase is only “a small amount” or does it cost that much. And the new director of the MDR, Ralf Ludwig, eats it in the taxi to Karlsruhe. Because even if he did not repeat the sentence in the Leipzig court, he had already announced that if the contribution was not increased he would go to the Constitutional Court.

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