ORF – The Austrian Broadcasting Corporation
The Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF) is Austria’s largest media provider, operating four national television and twelve radio channels, as well as a comprehensive range of websites.ORF is formally a foundation under public law and as such must fulfil a number of duties and mandates laid down in the ORF Act.
Being a public service radio and television company, ORF is not profit-oriented, and invests all revenue – half of which comes from radio and TV licence fees, the rest from advertising and other income – directly into the programmes and services it provides to its ORF audiences.
The ORF’s main headquarters and studios are located in Vienna, and the company also operates regional studios in all nine Federal Provinces and maintains a worldwide network of correspondents who contribute to its varied range of programmes in all three media.
ORF eins and ORF 2 broadcast a rich variety of programmes consisting of current news, in-depth information, documentaries, TV-magazines, reports, talk-shows and other shows, movies, and TV-series.
The main target group of ORF eins are rather young, cosmopolitan, and urban audiences. Its repertoire includes children's programmes - free of advertisement and violence - and major sports events, as well as contemporary films and series from Austria and the rest of the world, shows and comedies.
ORF 2, on the other hand, addresses a more mature and traditional audience, broadcasting in-depth information, documentaries, and debates. High culture, religion, and science also feature prominently in ORF 2 programmes.
ORF III is a special-interest channel for information and culture.
ORF Sport Plus is a special-interest channel for sports.
Ö1 is a special-interest channel specializing in culture and information, placing an equally strong focus on science, religion, and debates on socio-political issues. It is free of advertisement and counts amongst Europe’s most successful public-service radio channels.
Ö3 is the mainstream radio channel of ORF, accompanying Austrian radio audiences throughout the day with a rich mixture of music, information, comedy, and services. The channel has a loyal family of listeners who regularly join in its active participation campaigns for humanitarian and social projects.
FM4 focuses on contemporary youth and popular culture outside the mainstream, and broadcasts in both German and English, also featuring news in French.
The ORF’s regional studios in the nine Austrian Federal Provinces produce their own radio programmes around the clock, as well as half an hour of regional TV news every day, which are broadcast in the local windows of ORF 2. Off the air, the regional studios have established themselves as an important vehicle for local culture in their respective Federal Province.
The ORF’s websites post the country's most coveted online news, also providing in-depth background information and a comprehensive set of services. Moreover, the „ORF-TVthek“ features a 7-day catchup of most television formats, allowing viewers to watch the programmes they missed online.
Most of the television programmes of ORF 2 are also available throughout the continent via the Astra digital satellite at ORF 2 EUROPE, conceived as a service for Austrians abroad and for all viewers in Europe interested in Austria and its culture.
In cooperation with the public service broadcasters of Germany and Switzerland (ARD, ZDF, SRG SSR idée suisse), ORF also operates the special-interest channel 3Sat, which specializes in culture and science.
Moreover, ORF is an active partner of the German-French ARTE culture channel and contributes Austrian programmes to the Bavarian education channel Bayern Alpha (Germany).
The roots of ORF can be traced back to 1924; after World War II, the company began broadcasting television, and was re-established in 1958. In 1964, a group of newspaper editors and journalists launched the first Austrian referendum aiming to free ORF from political influence and to put an end to the proportional representation of political parties in the company's management. The referendum was a huge success (832,353 signatures, 17.27% of eligible voters), eventually leading to the ORF Act that entered into force in 1967 and was amended several times ever since.
Director-General Alexander Wrabetz
Commercial Director Andreas Nadler
TV Director Kathrin Zechner
Radio Director Monika Eigensperger
Technical Director Michael Götzhaber
Due to the fact that Austria and Germany share a common language, Austria’s electronic media in particular are subject to extreme competition pressure. Although Austrian households can receive up to 101 TV channels and 96 radio channels in German, ORF has managed to uphold its market leadership in both sectors:
Television 2015 (35,3%)
ORF eins 11,8%
ORF 2 21,3%
The executive board:
The institutions of the Austrian public service broadcaster:
Assembly of the affiliated companies:
Download (PDF) (German; November, 1st 2020)