The 14 media authorities in Germany are in charge of licensing and controlling as well as structuring and promoting commercial radio and television in Germany. Commercial broadcasting in Germany started in the mid-1980s. The road to the dual broadcasting system in Germany under which public-service broadcasting and commercial broadcasting co-exist alongside was paved by the 1987 Interstate Broadcasting Treaty which has since been repeatedly amended.
According to the German Constitution, legislation for broadcasting - be it provided by public-service broadcasters or commercial service providers - is under the responsibility of the individual federal states. Therefore, organisation and social control of commercial (or private) broadcasting is regulated by media laws of the different federal states.
Commercial radio and commercial television broadcasters have to fulfil the requirements on content as specified in these laws while the independent media authorities of the states ensure that the provisions are adhered to. As regards telemedia, in particular the internet, the media authorities are responsible for ensuring that specific requirements are met, for instance in relation to the protection of minors in the media.
For a great number of issues relating to broadcasting, rules applicable across Germany as a whole are necessary, e.g. for licensing and supervising nationally-operated services. The 14 media authorities therefore cooperate in different decision-taking councils and commissions coordinating and aligning matters on a national level.
The joint management office of the media authorities is located in Berlin. It coordinates the day-to-day business of the decision-taking councils and commissions of the state media authorities.
Joint management office
Postfach 08 02 63
Telefon: +49 (0)30 / 2064690-0
Telefax: +49 (0)30 / 2064690-99