Survival Guides

Why are you paying an extra fee for content on TV, Radio and Internet?

Did you know that in Germany, literally everyone has to pay around 18€ a month for the consumption of the media?


Let´s talk about the The GEZ and the general fee for media consumption being it digital, via streaming, on radio or television. (Allgemeine Rundfunkgebühr).

This might seem shocking or strange at first sight to many, since there already exist the normal service providing companies that one has to pay, if one purchases the respective services.

This, however, represents the typical German confidence in their cultural institutions, and that everyone has to pay her/his own share in order to create public wealth.

‘GEZ’ stands for the long German word “Gebühreneinzugszentrale”. This can be translated to “central for fee payments”. It is a pretty clumsy term, we have to admit…

The basic idea behind this is as follows: Besides the normal payment for private services (like series and movie streaming providers, internet companies or radio stations) that any private person can hire, the German state has institutions for the production of cultural programs for all media consumption, e.g. movies, documentaries, tv shows, and also many podcasts and radio programs.

Many of these programs, the argument goes, are of good quality and with a serious intellectual, cultural or social value. These special media producers are financed by the state and by the ‘Allgemeine Rundfunkgebühr’, so that they can produce what is supposed to be “good and neutral journalism” and “good tv and radio programs“.

Despite the idea being quite arguable, it is important to be aware of this fee, since one has to register for it at the GEZ (easiest online on the Rundfunkbeitrag homepage), and allow them to take the money from your account every three months, normally.

And what are those channels? For example, „3Sat“, „Arte“ „Kika” (for kids), „Das Erste“ and others.

A really good point that we find, is the cero advertising on Kids broadcast, not to mention the nice educational value of a lot of Programs like „Seundung mit dem Maus and Löwenzahn“.

If you have questions you can visit the website to get more information. Link: The Rundfunkbeitrag homepage

Text by: Alicia Enciso, living in Munich since long ago, how did I know about this fee? It was like this: One day, someone knocked on my door to tell me I was not paying. Me: noy paying what? Them: The Rundfunkgebüren. Me: The Rundfuckwhat? Them: RUNDFUNNNNNKGEBÜHREN (started to explain) Me: Gesetzlich geregelt? ah ok, here you are.