Cost of living For Members

REVEALED: How much will people in Austria have to pay for TV and radio contribution fees?

Amanda Previdelli
Amanda Previdelli - [email protected]
REVEALED: How much will people in Austria have to pay for TV and radio contribution fees?
(Photo by Jonas Leupe on Unsplash)

Austria has announced more details on the planned changes to its GIS, the public TV and radio fee that funds broadcaster ORF. Here's what you can expect.


A general household levy, paid by every home in Austria, will substitute the current GIS fee from 2024, as the government previously announced.

Now, the federal coalition has agreed on the main features of the new "ORF law", with a levy that should cost around €15 a month (plus state taxes), Media Minister Susanne Raab (ÖVP) announced.

Federal taxes and VAT will be eliminated from the fee, she added during a press conference on Thursday. Only primary residences will have to pay - secondary homes will be exempt. 

GIS is Austria’s TV and radio licence that can set households who have TV or radio equipment at home back between €22.45 and €28.25 per month, 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.

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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 Austria's Constitutional Court ruled unconstitutional, as The Local reported. 


The 2022 court decision stated that Austria's legislative power had to "close the streaming gap" by the end of 2023. Several options were considered, but in the end, the ruling coalition decided on a household levy in line with the system in neighbouring Germany.  In Germany, the current fee is €18.36 per month.

From next year every single home in Austria will pay a fee - which should be lower than the current GIS fee - and therefore, everyone has the right to access the public broadcaster's content, whether they are using a television, radio or internet-connected device.

With the changes, the "GIS checks" at people's front door with questions about reception devices will be abolished. "That's no longer a modern system," said Raab, "I don't want that in Austria."

A €15 household levy

The fee will become about a third cheaper than before, totalling €15 per month, plus state levies - Upper Austria and Vorarlberg have already said they would waive those taxes.

Currently, a household that pays for the radio and TV fee in Vienna or Lower Austria, for example, pays €28.25 per month, with federal and state taxes representing €7.80 of that amount. 

Styria has the highest federal and state taxes, at €8.20, while Upper Austria and Vorarlberg currently add €2 in taxes. 

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: What is Austria’s church tax and how do I avoid paying it?

The ORF amendment also provides fewer restrictions on public broadcasting in streaming and social media. For example, ORF will be allowed to produce content for streaming only, and the limitation on seven-day viewing will be dropped.

The model for future streaming and social media activities will likely be based on the German content offering from ARD and ZDF, which primarily plays out its content for young people on social media. 


At around €680 million per year, GIS fees already account for about two-thirds of ORF's revenue.  With the household levy, several hundred thousand additional households are expected to pay, which until now have saved on GIS because of pure streaming use. 

ORF General Roland Weißmann spoke in recent days of 300,000 more households. Currently, there are about 700,000 households that are either irregularly not paying or do not pay GIS because of streaming-only use.

Those previously exempt from the fee will continue to be exempt. 


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