3.4 Public Broadcasting Service

Several broadcasting channels in Germany are publicly financed. As such, their purpose is to serve the public by ensuring an independent fundamental supply and a diversified programme. The channels are available all over Germany, and many of the contents are also available online in the media libraries (in German: Mediathek).

How is this financed?[]

To ensure these services for everyone, the public broadcasting services in Germany are financed by a broadcasting fee (Rundfunkgebühr, slang: "GEZ"). This fee is €17.50 per month and is charged for every residence.

What if I share my residence with others?[]

Only one person of age must be registered and pay the licence fee for each residence ' – regardless of how many people live there and how many devices they use.. Residents of a shared flat can decide among themselves who this should be. Any other residents who already have a licence fee account may deregister.

What if I live in a dormitory?[]

Single rooms and appartments are counted as a single residence and therefore have to pay the entire broadcasting fee on their own.

In some dormitories, several rooms are connected to shared flats, which can only be accessed from a generally accessible staircase or hallway via a separate entrance door (usually with a separate key). Here, the fee can be shared among the members of the joint residence.

How and when do I have to register for the broadcasting fee?[]

There are no registration deadlines for the broadcasting fee. Usually, you will be contacted by the Beitragsservice after some time. At that time you need to register yourself at the latest. However, you have to pay the full amount since you moved in. You cannot save money by registering later, instead you have to pay retrospectively.

That means you can first come to Lübeck, move into your accommodation and find out whether you can share the broadcasting fee with others or whether you might benefit from an exemption (e.g. because of a disability).