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Living in Austria For Members

How much will Austria's new mandatory TV licence fee cost you?

Aaron Burnett
Aaron Burnett - [email protected]
How much will Austria's new mandatory TV licence fee cost you?
Austrian public broadcaster ORF has argued that the online availability of its programming means everyone should have to pay the TV licence fee. Photo by Chris DELMAS / AFP

Austria’s ORF public broadcaster stands to rake in an extra €35 million for its annual budget now that the mandatory TV licence fee is in effect as of New Year's Day. Here’s how much you’re now on the hook for.

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An additional 625,000 households that weren't paying Austria’s TV and radio licence fee in 2023 are now expected to start footing the bill.

Anyone with a TV or radio in Austria was technically already supposed to pay a licence fee to ORF. However, the public broadcaster successfully argued before the Austrian Constitutional Court that even people who don’t have a TV or radio at home can still benefit from their programming by streaming it online – and thus should pay the fee.

Based on that argument, the court ruled in ORF’s favour, with the federal government pledging to bring in a new mandatory licence fee for every Austrian household as of January 2024.

Now that it's in effect though, the exact fee you have to pay varies depending on where you live in the country.

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READ ALSO: Austria set to make TV and radio fees mandatory for everybody

So how much do I have to pay?

ORF’s mandatory licence fee is now €183.60 per year on a national basis, with payers having 14 days to pay ORF the full amount from the start of January – unless they give ORF a SEPA direct debit authorization for their account, in which case instalments can be agreed.

Anyone who hasn’t paid before has to register themselves with the GIS (Gebühren Info Service).

However, regional broadcasters in Austrian federal states have the option to charge an additional regional fee on top of the national fee.

A cameraman on assignment with Austrian public broadcaster ORF. Photo: https://pixabay.com/photos/cameraman-sony-room-vidomaker-3794634/ 

Five of Austria’s nine federal states charge the national fee only – meaning that people who live there will be on the hook for the minimum amount of €183.60. These states are Vorarlberg, Salzburg, Upper Austria, Lower Austria and the capital city of Vienna.

The other four federal states now also charge additional regional fees. Tyroleans are on the hook for €220.32 in total – once both the federal base fee and the regional fee are factored in.

People living in Carinthia and Burgenland have to pay a similarly combined fee of €238.80.

Finally, Styria residents pay the most – with an annual combined fee of €240.

What's also important to note though, is that the fee is per household, not per person. Thus even a five-person home could split the fee five ways, for example.

The new money is expected to raise ORF revenues from about €676 million this year to about €710 million this year, not counting the additional €100 million the public broadcaster may end up receiving in top-ups from government.

525,000 private households who didn’t have to pay the fee before are projected to now need to start paying. 100,000 new institutional or corporate payers – which can include places like bars who stream shows for their audiences – have to start footing the bill as well.

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