Commission on Licensing and Supervision (ZAK)
The Commission on Licensing and Supervision is die Medienanstalten’s central organ. It deals with its core issues of licences and monitoring of nationwide private broadcasters, regulation of platforms, as well as development of digital broadcasting.
[Translate to englisch:] Container: ZAK
Commission on Licensing and supervision (ZAK)
The ZAK makes decisions on licence applications by private television and radio broadcasters that want to air their programme in the entire country. This includes licences for completely new broadcasting organisations but also the renewal of existing licences.
Changes in leadership positions as well as changes in ownership and ownership structures of the companies which already have a broadcasting licence are also matters decided on by the ZAK. The Interstate Broadcasting Agreement states the legal requirements for these decisions. The Agreement also determines how to deal with programme violations by broadcasters. Therefore, the ZAK evaluates potential breaches of programme principles or advertising and sponsorship provisions.
The ZAK procedures are prepared in the specialist committees. The responsible state media authorities prepare the content of and implement the ZAK’s resolutions, and the joint office in Berlin coordinates these.
Advertising and programme
An example of a breach of programme principles is a violation of journalistic due diligence. This occurs when the research involved in reporting was not carried out thoroughly and consequently makes untrue claims that do not correspond to the reality of the situation, or inaccurate image sections are broadcast.
The ZAK becomes involved in advertising violations if, for example, the programme content cannot clearly be separated from advertising elements. This may be the case if a product is suddenly advertised in a running editorial programme without fading in a commercial bumper beforehand. Excessive highlighting of a product in an editorial programme can also lead to a supervisory decision by the ZAK. Finally, the ZAK is also authorised to impose a fine in case of certain violations of the requirements of the Interstate Broadcasting Agreement.
Aside from these tasks, the commission is also responsible for platform regulation. It is provided with tools to do so, allowing it to ensure open access of contents (programmes) on platforms and make sure that no providers are discriminated within this platform, for example in matters of remuneration.
But the ZAK also protects the user, for example by making decisions on transparent discoverability of programmes (comprehensible listing of programmes). Finally, the ZAK takes on claims against platform operators and ensures that the digital development is progressing. It does this by calling for tenders, for example, which leads to the allocation of capacities for digital radio or television programmes via antenna.
The directors and presidents of the 14 state media authorities work together in the ZAK. The director of the managing authority is also chairperson of the ZAK.
Chairman: Dr. Wolfgang Kreißig (LFK)
Deputies: Prof. Christian Krebs LL.M. (NLM), Dr. Thorsten Schmiege (BLM)
Dr. Wolfgang Kreißig
Director of the Media Authority of Baden-Wuerttemberg
Dr. Thorsten Schmiege
Director of the Media Authority of Bavaria
Dr. Eva Flecken
Director of the Media Authority of Berlin and Brandenburg
Director of the Media Authority of Bremen
Director of the Media Authority of Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein
Director of the Media Authority of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania
Prof. Christian Krebs LL.M.
Director of the Media Authority of Lower Saxony
Dr. Tobias Schmid
Director of the Media Authority of North Rhine-Westphalia
Dr. Marc Jan Eumann
Director of the Media Authority of Rhineland-Palatinate
Director of the Media Authority of the Saarland
Prof. Dr. Markus Heinker
Director of the Media Authority of Saxony
Director of the Media Authority of Saxony-Anhalt
Director of the Media Authority of Thuringia