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Who will have to pay Austria's TV and radio fee under new GIS rules?

The Local Austria
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Who will have to pay Austria's TV and radio fee under new GIS rules?
(Photo by Jonas Leupe on Unsplash)

Austria has finally confirmed how the fee that funds public broadcaster ORF will work in the future. Here's what you need to know.


In 2022, the Austrian Constitutional Court ruled that receiving TV programmes online and streaming them without paying so-called GIS fees is “unconstitutional”, as The Local reported.

Consequently, the court has asked the legislative powers (Austria’s National Council, Federal Council and Federal Assembly) to take action by “closing the streaming gap” by the end of 2023.

GIS is Austria’s TV and radio licence that can set people who have TV equipment at home back between €22.45 and €28.25, depending on the state, a month. Most of that money goes to the public broadcaster ORF and pays for in-house productions, broadcasting equipment, technical equipment, licences and more.

Even people who don’t watch ORF programmes need to pay for GIS as long as they have a device capable of receiving the broadcast. However, those who don’t pay for it because they don’t have such devices can still stream the content online, which the court ruled unconstitutional.

Now, the Austrian government announced they found a solution to comply with the court's decision.

READ ALSO: Everything that changes in Austria in 2023


What is changing with GIS?

Austrian Minister Susanne Raab (ÖVP) has confirmed to the newspaper Der Standard that ORF will be financed by a household levy instead of the GIS. "With an austerity package, a more favourable ORF fee for households is conceivable.", the minister said.

"Austrians, who finance the ORF, should pay less than before. Against this background, I can imagine an ORF contribution per household. We will now enter into negotiations with our coalition partner on this", Saab added, according to a Kurier report.

The pre-requisite for the government to institute the levy would be the adoption of cost-cutting measures at the ORF - the plan would then continue to be further negotiated with coalition partners Greens. 

READ ALSO: What's likely to change with radio and TV fees in Austria?

According to this decision, a levy will be collected regardless of reception devices – so exemption due to not owning a radio or TV will no longer exist. Instead, every household in Austria would pay around the same amount, lower than the current fee. 


Austrian media reported that the government is planning a €16.50 fee, though the amount is not yet fixed. There would be exemptions for low-income households. 

In this scenario, ORF would receive more than 60,000 additional payers – and thus more revenue. 


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