Austrian radio

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Austrian radio
Station logo
General information
Reception: analog: cable
Digital: antenna , cable , satellite
Broadcasting company: ORF
Intendant: Alexander Wrabetz
Start of broadcast: August 1, 1955
Legal form: public law
Program type: Full program
List of TV channels

The Austrian Broadcasting Corporation ( ORF ) is the public broadcasting in Austria and is headquartered in Vienna . In addition, the ORF operates a state studio in each of the nine federal states and, since 1975, another studio in Bozen ( South Tyrol ).

As the largest media provider in the state, it produces four television programs as well as three nationwide and nine regional radio programs. He is also the largest member of the Austria Press Agency (APA) and is involved in the Austrian Lotteries . It is organized as a foundation under public law.

History and legal basis

50 Schilling silver coin on the occasion of 50 years of radio (1974)

The history of ORF goes back to Radio Verkehrs AG , which was founded on September 30, 1924. In 1938 it was liquidated and subordinated to the German Reichsrundfunkgesellschaft (from 1939 Großdeutscher Rundfunk ) as Reichsender Wien . After the end of the war in 1945, separate programs were broadcast in each occupation zone . In 1955 these were combined as the Austrian Broadcasting System .

On December 11, 1957 the Österreichische Rundfunk Ges. M. b. H. founded in the presence of Federal Chancellor Julius Raab , Vice Chancellor Bruno Pittermann and Minister of Education Heinrich Drimmel ; it has been entitled to broadcast radio and television programs since January 1, 1958.

The shareholders are the federal government with 97.3% and the states with 2.7%. The general assembly appoints the section council in the Federal Chancellery, Karl Cejka, as general director, the current public administrator Füchsl as technical director and the previous public administrator Alfons Übelhör as radio program director and the previous program manager of television, Gerhard Freund , as television director.

The basis for the founding of the ORF in its present form was the first Austrian referendum in 1964, which aimed to reform the broadcasting system. As a result, a "Broadcasting Act" was passed in 1966, which came into force on January 1, 1967. With the Broadcasting Act 1974, the ORF was converted into a public law institution. The last major reform took place in 2001 with the ORF law amendment, Federal Law Gazette I No. 83/2001, with which the ORF was converted into a foundation under public law.

The ORF law provides, among other things, for an educational mandate as part of the supply mandate . As a public broadcaster, the ORF is partly financed by the program fee (§ 31 ORF-G), which is collected together with the broadcasting fee, the art subsidy contribution and any existing state taxes. The amount of the total broadcasting fees in the broader sense, of which the ORF receives around two thirds, differs from federal state to federal state because the various states also collect differently high taxes. Together with these, the fees including the program fee are between 20.93 euros ( Upper Austria and Vorarlberg ) and 26.73 euros ( Styria ) per month (as of November 2018). The fees are collected by the ORF subsidiary fee Info Service GmbH (GIS).

Furthermore, the Federal Act on Austrian Broadcasting provides in Section 3 (1) that as many people in Austria as possible should be provided with three radio and two television programs, i.e. that reception should be as extensive as possible.

The board of trustees , which also elects the general director, is responsible for managing and controlling the ORF . The audience council protects the interests of listeners and viewers.

In 1989 the film / television agreement for the promotion of feature films was concluded with the Austrian Film Institute .

At the beginning of the 1990s Austria was condemned by the European Court of Human Rights, and in 1993 the ORF's radio monopoly was finally abolished by the “Regional Radio Law”, which ended the state broadcasting monopoly and made “internal pluralistic” regional private radio possible. After legal and legal start-up difficulties in the private broadcasting sector, since 1998 the broadcasting programs of the ORF have had to assert themselves against the commercial competition across Austria. However, the ORF continues to enjoy a number of advantages over private competition, particularly with regard to frequency allocation. The television monopoly only officially fell with the 1997 Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Act.

"ORF eye"
Old ORF font logo
former logo of ORF 1 1992 to 2005
former logo of ORF 2 until 2005
former logo of ORF 1 2005 until January 8, 2011
former logo of ORF 2 from 2005 to 2012
former logo of ORF eins (today ORF 1) January 8, 2011 to April 26, 2019
current logo of ORF 1 since April 26, 2019
current logo of ORF 2 since 2012

The advertising for Ö3 broadcast on ORF television has often caused criticism, since private radio stations are largely denied such advertising measures for cost reasons. Since the new ORF law came into force on January 1, 2002, ORF is no longer allowed to advertise its radio programs on television and vice versa - so-called cross-promotion . Only neutral references to programs are permitted.

In September 2008, the Austrian Administrative Court decided that the ORF law in the area of ​​fee regulations is to be interpreted in such a way that the program fee is only to be paid if the signal can actually be received technically.

On December 27, 2011, however, a federal act was passed to amend the ORF law, according to which the terrestrial coverage of the ORF program is sufficient as a criterion for paying the program fee (analog and, above all, unencrypted DVB-T). The law came into force on January 1, 2012.

According to the judgment of the Administrative Court in 2015, no license fees have to be paid if radio or television are consumed via computer. Live streaming does not fall under the term broadcasting and is therefore not chargeable. You only have to pay for the use of your own radio technology such as television or radio cards.

On December 23, 2008, the ORF subsidiary ORF Enterprise signed an agreement with the media publisher Hoanzl , which guarantees it the exclusive exploitation rights of the ORF archive for DVDs and its web media library for ten years. The agreement caused a sensation in the ORF Board of Trustees because it came about without a tender, the ORF is planning its own exploitation subsidiary and critics consider a ten-year contract too long.

In 1997 a radio museum and the radio culture house were opened in Vienna .

The ORF takes part in humanitarian campaigns again and again, the largest of which are Light in Darkness and Neighbors in Need .

General manager

The list of politically anchored general managers and general directors of the ORF and its predecessor organizations (the designation "General Director" was introduced with the ORF reform in 2001):

Logos and designs

The first logo that was associated with the ORF was the well-known "ORF eye", which represented a round electronic and an oval human eye. Until 2002, the eye designed by Erich Sokol in 1968 could be seen in advance announcements of films and in daily time in the picture . This included the angular lettering in contour script.

The first TV program FS1 had a yellow 1 as a logo, which kept changing, for FS2 it was a blue 2. Both could only be seen between shows.

In 1992, Neville Brody designed a new logo. The "ORF brick" (ORF abbreviation in white on a red rectangle) was introduced parallel to the eye. It pushed the eye increasingly into the background until 2000 and became the central logo. The station IDs were also given an “ORF” in front of the number, the colors changed in steps from yellow / blue to red / green.

Under General Director Monika Lindner , the eye was temporarily completely abolished in 2005 when the sign was removed from the ORF center. Alexander Wrabetz (formerly Lindner's finance director) had the sign put up again after his election as general manager. Since 2011, the eye has completely disappeared from ORF 1.

On television, the corporate design logo was provided with a white “1” on a green background, for ORF 2, with a gold “2” on a red background. In 2005 this color combination was abolished and a uniform gray corner logo is now used on both channels .


  • The first mascot that was also sold as a stuffed animal was Orfeo, the Künigl bear. However, there was no show in which this appeared.
  • In the 1980s and 1990s, the cartoon characters owl and weasel represented the two television programs, especially in the program preview show 2 × 7.
  • Since 1994, various mascots and fictional characters have been introduced in the children's programs Confetti TiVi and okidoki , which outwardly shape the recognition value and face of the ORF.


watch TV


The ORF produces (s) the following television programs:

designation Current logo Broadcast period
since 1955
ORF 1 HD since 2008
ORF2 logo n.svg
since 1961
ORF 2 HD neu.svg
since 2009
ORF 2 Europe
ORF 2 Europe logo 2012.svg
since 2004
ORF III Logo Monochrom.svg
since 2011
ORF Sport + .svg
since 2006
ORF SAT logo.svg
1997 to 2000
  • Together with ARD , ZDF and SRG SSR , ORF is involved in 3sat and has been cooperating with Arte since 2002 .
  • The broadcaster ARD-alpha , which is operated by Bayerischer Rundfunk , has the regular broadcast Alpha Austria .
  • The children's program okidoki is broadcast on ORF 1 and is the successor to Confetti TiVi .
  • Since October 26, 2006, ORF 1 , ORF 2 (each in the regional version of its own and a neighboring federal state) can be received via a nationwide DVB-T multiplex (Mux A) which also includes the private broadcaster ATV . In another multiplex, which is restricted to metropolitan areas, ORF SPORT + (formerly ORF Sport Plus), 3sat and ORF III can be received together with two private channels.
  • Since April 2013, ORF 1 and ORF 2 can also be received in HD terrestrial free of charge via DVB-T2 , but you need a free registration of the module (which must be plugged into a DVB-T2 device) or the box with simpliTV , as the signal (except for the unencrypted teletext) is encrypted. A smart card is not required.
  • Together with Sitour Austria , ORF was involved in the TW1 program.


The main sources of income for ORF are fees and, at the same time, advertising income. The advertising income in 2017 amounted to 232.6 million euros; the income from the program fee 624.8 million euros. Financing from fees and advertising similar to the SRG SSR enables ORF to carry out its extensive public service mandate on the small Austrian media market with its approx. 3.2 million TV households. At the European level, the dual financing of the ORF in the context of the state aid proceedings against the Republic of Austria was also not disputed.

In recent years, the ORF has had to accept a massive decline in advertising money, which flowed to a large extent into the Austrian windows of German private broadcasters . This in turn began with the production and broadcasting of Austria-specific formats, for example own news magazines and boulevard programs on ProSieben Austria and on Sat.1 Austria . This led to the revitalization of the Austrian advertising and film industry, which coexisted in dependence on ORF for decades. The last important point for the time being in the development of the television advertising market segment in Austria was set by the start of broadcasting by private competitor ATV .

ORF 1 and ORF 2 have a higher proportion of advertising than in Germany, for example, the public service programs Das Erste and ZDF . Originally, there was a ban on advertising after 8 p.m. and on Sundays and public holidays (as in Germany). This advertising restriction was suspended at the end of the 1990s in order to make ORF competitive with the newly emerging private radio and television providers. Until the end of the 1990s, private radio and television providers in Austria did not receive a broadcast license. This made the ORF the broadcasting corporation that was able to benefit from a state-guaranteed monopoly position for the longest in Europe.

Advertising may only be shown between two programs, but no program may be interrupted with an advertising break. Programs that have an interruption in their dramaturgy, such as football games and other sports broadcasts, are excluded from this regulation . However, this regulation is interpreted and exploited very generously by the ORF. In recent years, for example, the company has switched to separating self-produced main evening shows such as Dancing Stars or Starmania into several parts and designating them as independent programs in order to place advertising in between.

Compliance with the advertising times and regulations is monitored by the communications authority Austria (KommAustria) , which is subordinate to the Federal Chancellery . If there is justified suspicion of a violation of the advertising regulations, KommAustria can report this to the Federal Communications Senate , which is responsible for the legal supervision of the ORF.

Viewers and ratings

Audience numbers and coverage of ORF programs have been falling for years. In April 2007, ORF boss Alexander Wrabetz tried to counteract the increasing loss of viewers, especially in the target group of under 49-year-olds, with what he claims to be the “greatest program reform of all time” . This group in particular has been drawn more and more to German private broadcasters in recent years, which has resulted in a decrease in ORF market shares. However, in the weeks following the start of the reform, quotas and market shares fell well below the values ​​on the first day. In April 2007, the ORF could not even claim a 40% market share. In 2017, the rate for ORF 1 and ORF 2 together was only around 30%. As of November 2018, ORF 1 had a market share of only 8.7%, which is more than halving in the past 10 years (2008: 18%). This does not yet take into account the approx. 15% of previous viewers who were lost to streaming .

The market share of ORF 1 sank from 1995 to 2016 from 27% to 12%, that of ORF 2 from 36 to 21% in the same period. In April 2013, ORF 1's quota fell below the 10% mark for the first time and only achieved a 9.9% market share. In 2014, an internal quota analysis came to the conclusion that more and more older viewers were also missing out on ORF information programs such as Bundesland heute or Zeit im Bild .

In the first eight months of 2018, the audience rate of the Austrian private broadcasters was 30% for the first time above the rate of the ORF (25.9%). In 2000, the balance of power in terms of market shares in the so-called “advertising-relevant” target group of 12 to 49 year olds was still 48.4% (ORF) to 8.3% (private broadcasters).


Logo of the ORF teletext

Since March 16, 2009 the ORF teletext has a new design. The regional news from the state studios can now also be called up.

ORF center Küniglberg

ORF Center Küniglberg in Vienna
(built 1968–1975 by Roland Rainer )

The ORF center Küniglberg in the 13th district of Vienna is the headquarters of the ORF, which went into operation in 1975 and at the same time the production site for most of the television programs. In addition to several smaller television studios, there is also the so-called television theater (Studio Z1), which can accommodate up to 500 spectators for large shows and is the largest television studio in Austria. There are also shopping opportunities for staff in the ORF center. Due to the dilapidation of the building, a move was made for years. B. in the Sankt Marx district . At the beginning of 2014, it was decided to renovate and expand the ORF-Zentrum Küniglberg in order to create space for employees who are currently employed at the Argentinierstrasse and Heiligenstadt locations.

Technology and reception

ORF interview in front of the Hofburg in Vienna
Camera and accessories used by ORF for filming

At the beginning there was only one television program. The first television broadcast was broadcast on August 1, 1955, and in 1954 there had already been trial broadcasts. However, the occupying powers prevented regular operations by prohibiting the purchase of cameras, for example. The first three cameras were provisionally built in-house from different parts. Politicians did not prophesy a great future for television. You can see that, for example, in the proportional representation of the artistic directors. For example, Chancellor Julius Raab complained about the ÖVP director for the radio, while he left the TV director to the SPÖ .

After the start of the first television channel, the technical test program was added by the hour until programs were finally broadcast around the clock, first as FS1 and FS2 , later as ORF 1 and ORF 2 . The ORF has been broadcasting its programs in color using the PAL system since 1969 . The first program broadcast in this way was the New Year's Concert by the Vienna Philharmonic on January 1, 1969.

16: 9 material in both national television programs was broadcast analogously in PALplus for several years . After the feed to the broadcasting stations had been converted to digital , broadcasting was only in PAL . However , the program is also offered in 16: 9 anamorphic via DVB-T and DVB-S .

The ORF television was locally housed in a former school in Vienna's 12th district of Meidling . Some programs were broadcast from the Ronacher Atelier . Subsequently, broadcasts were also made from the empty monkey house in the Schönbrunn Zoo until today's ORF center in Küniglberg was completed; A radar system was originally planned there as an extension of the Küniglberg anti-aircraft barracks built in 1938 .

Until 1998, television was broadcast exclusively terrestrial and analog . The ORF transmits its radio and television programs terrestrially with 1,792 transmitters at 477 locations.

Since January 22, 1998, the ORF has also been broadcasting digitally via the ASTRA 1G satellite and since August 31, 2000 via ASTRA 1H ( DVB-S ). At the moment, Astra 1KR and Astra 1L are used at the same frequencies. To receive the encrypted signal, a card is required, which is only given to Austrian fee payers (Astra viewers in South Tyrol contact the Rundfunk-Anstalt Südtirol (RAS), but only if they live in an area that is not covered by DVB T signal of the RAS is supplied). On May 20, 2008, the last ORF Betacrypt card was switched off, and the ORF Betacrypt broadcast signal was discontinued two days later. This means that the ORF can only be received via Cryptoworks , Irdeto and Nagravision .

The switch from analog to digital television (DVB-T) began on October 26, 2006 with the programs ORF 1 and ORF 2 (together with ATV) in the provincial capitals of Austria (MUX A). Since the start of the second DVB-T coverage in autumn 2007, ORF Sport Plus can also be received in the state capitals (MUX B). The last analog terrestrial television channel was switched off on June 7, 2011. 320 broadcasting stations are currently transmitting DVB-T signals in Austria.

For DAB there was a trial operation in Vienna and Tyrol to test the possibilities of digital radio. The broadcast of DAB ceased at the beginning of 2009.

The transmission systems are operated by the subsidiary ORS Österreichische Rundfunksender, founded on January 1, 2005 . The ORF holds 60% of the shares in this company, 40% is held by the Raiffeisen subsidiary Medicur.

ORF 1 and ORF 2 can only be received via cable in Austria, South Tyrol and areas close to the border (e.g. southern Bavaria) or throughout German-speaking Switzerland , as they are only broadcast terrestrially and unencrypted via cable; they are broadcast in encrypted form via satellite . This also applies to local broadcasts (e.g. federal state today ) with the exception of Vienna today , which runs on ORF 2 Europe .

ORF 2 is broadcast as ORF 2 Europe daily from 6:00 a.m. to 00:20 a.m., with the exception of programs for which no Europe-wide broadcasting rights are available, with the Vienna regional program unencrypted via Astra .

ORF Sport Plus and ORF III are also broadcast via Astra (encrypted via DVB-S). Broadcasting via DVB-T, however, takes place from the large broadcasting systems near the state capitals. It can also be received via cable (also in some neighboring countries).

On May 20, 2008, the Austrian broadcasting service finally ended the coding of its programs broadcast via satellite based on the old Betacrypt standard, which was used in parallel in addition to Cryptoworks encryption . With this measure, a known gap in the ORF encryption system was closed with a view to the planned regular HD broadcasting of ORF 1 on June 2, 2008, which would also prevent unauthorized ORF reception (e.g. abroad) through the corrupted Betacrypt standard. had made possible.

At the end of January 2007, the ORF sued the German cable network operator Kabel BW because the ORF did not want to be received in Germany. After the ORF filed a lawsuit, Kabel BW immediately removed the channels. The ORF buys film and series rights only for Austria and would have to buy these rights if they were broadcast in Germany, which is impossible due to the high costs.


ORF-HD production in Kitzbühel

On January 23, 2008 the ORF HDTV live broadcast “The Nightrace” from Schladming took place for the first time. An HDTV reception was presented to the public in the form of an event in the ORF regional studios. The technology partner was Telekom Austria.

With a view to the European Football Championship in 2008, ORF 1 HD began broadcasting HDTV on June 1, 2008 at 5:25 pm with the program Sport am Sonntag . On Monday, June 2nd, 2008, an official ORF HDTV launch followed in front of media representatives with a Universum broadcast in HD.

For the 2008 European Football Championship, ORF 1 HD could also be received via the digital HD cable television service launched by UPC Austria on May 6, 2008 , and Telekom Austria has also had an HDTV IPTV product since the beginning of June 2008. On December 5, 2009, the HDTV broadcast of the second Austrian television program ORF 2 followed via Astra (the SD parallel broadcast of the two Austrian television programs ORF 1 and ORF 2 is retained via Astra).

In April 2013, simpliTV went on air via DVB-T2 with ORF 1 HD and ORF 2 HD.

Since only selected content is available in HDTV, conventional ORF broadcasts are upscaled on the transmitter side for full 720p operation.

After the BBC, ORF is the world's second public broadcaster and the first German-speaking one to broadcast its entire full program in parallel in HD signals, but not ORF Sport Plus and ORF III. Since October 26, 2014, ORF has been broadcasting the two special-interest channels ORF Sport Plus and ORF III as well as the nine state-today broadcasts in high definition. Since then, the entire ORF channel family has been available in HD resolution.

On-screen design (corner logo)

In the course of a renewal of the corporate identity between 1992 and 1994 by the English graphic designer Neville Brody, the entire appearance of the ORF was successively changed and the new ORF logo, the so-called brick, was introduced. The previously known "ORF eye" stepped into the background as a figurehead, but was never officially given up.

The old, temporarily faded in screen logo - the normal white lettering "ORF" - was replaced by a brick-format one (white ORF lettering on a black rectangle, to the right of it a black number on a white square).

In 2000, the two channels ORF 1 and ORF 2 received a slight redesign, which is essentially characterized by a movable, gelatinous green square with the number 1 (“jelly look”) or a red square with a golden-yellow 2.

On August 17, 2005, the on-screen design was updated again: In order to avoid the corner logo being burned into plasma screens, the station ID - in the top right-hand corner - is no longer green for ORF 1 or red for ORF 2 colored, but uniformly gray like before. The ORF 2 trailer was also slightly changed; instead of the red cube with gold-yellow twos, a “slimmed-down” cube with white numbers can now be seen in the program trailer. In addition, the brick designed by Neville Brody should again take center stage as an umbrella brand.

To protect young people, the ORF marks certain programs as follows:

  • With an "X" to the left of the ORF logo (not for children)
  • With an "O" to the left of the ORF logo (only for adults)

The musical design (sound identity) of ORF 1 was created by the composer Hannes Bertolini , the composer Thomas Rabitsch is responsible for the sound identity of ORF 2 .

ORF broadcasts


designation logo Start of transmission Transmission area legal form
Ö1 Austria 1 2017 logo.svg 1967 Austria (FM only), South Tyrol (FM and DAB +) public law
Radio Vienna Logo Radio Wien.svg 1955 Vienna
Radio Burgenland Logo Radio Burgenland.svg 1967 Burgenland
Radio Carinthia Logo Radio Kärnten.svg 1967 Carinthia, parts of Styria, parts of East Tyrol
Radio Lower Austria Logo Radio Niederösterreich.svg 1967 Lower Austria
Radio Upper Austria Logo Radio Oberösterreich.svg 1967 Upper Austria
Radio Salzburg Logo Radio Salzburg.svg 1960 State of Salzburg
Radio Styria Logo Radio Steiermark.svg 1967 Styria
Radio Tirol Logo Radio Tirol.svg 1967 Tyrol (only VHF), South Tyrol (VHF and DAB +)
Radio Vorarlberg Logo Radio Vorarlberg.svg 1967 Vorarlberg
Ö3 Hitradio Ö3.svg 1967 Austria (FM only), South Tyrol (FM and DAB +)
FM4 FM4.svg 1995 Austria (but not nationwide, only VHF), South Tyrol (DAB +)

In the case of terrestrial reception, the reception area also includes the respective adjacent areas or neighboring countries.

Funkhaus Wien in Argentinierstraße, here the radio programs Ö1, FM4 and Radio Wien are produced; The Vienna State Studio is also based here

The ORF produces the following radio programs:

In the 1990s, the ORF regional radios were converted into format radios with a focus on folk and folk music, hits, oldies and super hits. Their target audience is the over 35s, where they are the clear market leaders.
  • Ö3 is a contemporary hit radio (CHR) with a focus on current pop music in very close rotation. Ö3 is the most successful Austrian radio program with around three million listeners every day. The most popular broadcast is the " Ö3-Wecker " on weekdays from 5:00 to 9:00.
  • FM4 specializes in alternative pop music, trends and scene reports. The daily program from 1:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. is broadcast in English; News is broadcast alternately in English, German and French - here you can find remnants of the internationally oriented station Blue Danube Radio , which originally broadcast on this frequency and was gradually discontinued or replaced by FM4 in the 1990s. Due to the unusual choice of music and the lack of corresponding offers from German radio stations, FM4 is also popular in southern Germany .
  • Radio 1476 is a special program of the ORF for Vienna, which was broadcast on medium wave on the frequency 1476 kHz from the location Bisamberg near Vienna with a transmission power of 60  kW until the end of 2008.
  • Radio Austria 1 International was introduced on July 1, 2003 when Radio Austria International had to be discontinued with its own program for cost reasons. The new radio Ö1 International now only plays programs from Ö1 for the most part.

The ORF Radio Symphony Orchestra Vienna (RSO Vienna) forms another separate department of ORF radio .



The news portal is the broadcaster's most important communication channel in the field of new media and has been one of the most visited Austrian news websites since the late 1990s. In the reach ranking of the Austrian Web Analysis (ÖWA), the Network was in second place behind the styria digital one umbrella offer in the fourth quarter of 2017. In the first quarter of 2013 achieved an average of around 56 million visits with around 347 million page impressions and around 6.9 million clients . According to ÖWA Plus, the portal had around 640,000 unique users in the 4th quarter of 2012 and an average daily reach of 10.9% of all Austrian Internet users, and 1.57 million unique users a week, which corresponds to a weekly reach of 26.9% . (Source: ÖWA Plus Handbook No. 12) In August 2017, 35.9 percent of the time measured by ÖWA for online media in Austria was accounted for by (around 9.5 million hours of use) and 21.2 percent of the time by all of of the online offers measured by ÖWA (source: ÖWA Basic; for comparison: with 3.3 million hours of use and with 6.2 million hours of use) Due to the amendment of the ORF Act, which was approved on October 1, 2010 came into force, the offer was severely curtailed by

Apart from the news reports, the ORF's website is not comparable to that of foreign broadcasters. Information on programs, videos, archives, technical information, etc. is only available to a limited extent, if at all. This follows the basic concept of since 1997, to position the site essentially as a daily news portal and not as an extension of the radio and television programs. is produced by around 40 editors in "ORF Online und Teletext GmbH & Co KG" and by an approximately equal number of editors in the ORF regional studios and in the television and radio editorial offices. Outstanding at is on the one hand the fact that both the editing system and all user interfaces are developed by "ORF Online and Teletext GmbH & Co KG", on the other hand the presence of its own editing department for the daily reporting. Around 15% of the employees at "ORF Online and Teletext GmbH & Co KG" work in product and software development. The advertising space in the network is marketed by "ORF Enterprise GmbH & CO KG".

In addition to, the ORF offers community portals for radio stations Ö1, Ö3 and FM4. One of the first online offers was the ORF religion portal. The ORF technology portal Futurezone , which is highly regarded for its network-critical reporting , was sold to the courier . According to Alexa , the website is the 7th most popular website in Austria.

ORF internet television

The Bundesland-heute (Austrian local programs) broadcasts archived for seven days were viewed 700,000 times on Internet television in September 2008 , while the current online videos (videos from news agencies), incorrectly referred to by ORF as ORF  IPTV , received 480,000 views in the same period.

ORF TVthek

ORF TVthek logo (since 2019)

The earlier attempt by the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation to set up a media library called ORF-Online-TV through the private publisher Georg Hoanzl failed because of the strong criticism of the ORF Foundation Board, as it was not informed about the already advanced external plans and also did not agree.

After a restart of the project under Thomas Prantner , an in-house ORF media library went online on Friday, November 13, 2009 under the name ORF TVthek .

There are currently around 130 programs, most of them worldwide, available on the portal. All ORF news broadcasts (ZIB or Zeit im Bild ), the “state today” broadcasts, and broadcasts from areas such as B. Comedy, religion, sport or culture can be accessed via the TVthek. Live streams of many in-house productions and sports events are also available. In general, the programs can be viewed on the Internet for seven days.

Was criticized at the TVthek especially the low resolution of the video, as well as binding to the Windows Media Player from Microsoft . Flash and Cupertino streaming are now also offered, depending on the device.

Now ORF also serves the market for mobile applications. The plan was to port the ORF TVthek as an application to the two Apple devices iPhone and iPad by the end of 2010, and in the months after that, the ORF's on-demand service was made available for other operating systems such as Google Android .

From November 16 to the end of 2009, the new service recorded 8.2 million hits. In 2013 the ORF achieved an average of 14.4 million video views per month.

At the beginning of 2014, more than 18.4 million video views per month were recorded.

In February 2014, an app for Windows Phone 8 was also presented.

Railjet in an ORF special design at Vienna Central Station

Since the summer of 2016, around 120 programs from ORF TVthek have been available on the ÖBB railjet's WLAN portal for use during the train journey. This service is advertised with a railjet set with special stickers.

On March 19, 2019, the ORF TVthek app and the online version received a new design. The old blue and red elements disappeared and were replaced by brown and yellow design elements. The background grew darker. With this "relaunch", as the ORF calls it, not only the design was changed, but also the stability, the operation, the personalization and many other things were improved.

ORF internet radio

The project with the most media convergence was Ö1 Inforadio . The radio program, which could only be consumed via internet stream, broadcast news, background information, analyzes and information from politics, culture, contemporary history and reports from home and abroad 24 hours a day. E-music was not broadcast, so that in contrast to Ö1 it was a full-word program.


Influence by parties

The decade-long special position of the ORF in the field of electronic media through the broadcasting monopoly (see main article: History of television in Austria ) aroused the desires of the political parties to secure an influence on the ORF and thus also on public opinion since the 1950s. During the SPÖ's sole government (1971–1983), criticism was often voiced that the government at the time made massive use of the ORF's monopoly to implement its own party political goals. From 1986 to 1999 (SPÖ / ÖVP coalition) the ORF was accused of obeying the grand coalition's system of proportional representation. Sometimes the ORF was assumed to have an affinity with the SPÖ because of its personnel policy and reporting. The ORF was therefore referred to as red radio .

The former ORF general director Teddy Podgorski said in 2015 that the power of politics manifests itself in the ORF. He is dependent on the politicians and de facto belongs to the republic. The demands of the ORF editors for a supervisory body in which party politics no longer plays a central role are completely hopeless.

The influence of the political parties in ORF is today strengthened and secured by the ORF Foundation Council , which u. a. elects the general director: 24 of the 35 foundation councils are selected by the federal government, state governments and parliamentary parties, 6 by the public council, which consists of 17 members appointed by the Federal Chancellor, and further foundation councils are party academies and social partners . This means that 32 out of 35 foundation councils can be directly or indirectly assigned to parties. Norbert Steger has been the chairman of the ORF Board of Trustees since May 2018 .

Criticism of political influence and reporting

A first counter-movement to this party-political appropriation culminated in 1964 in the radio popular initiative ; it was mainly promoted by print media from the federal states. Between October 5 and 12, 1964, 832,353 Austrian voters signed the request, which ultimately led to a new broadcasting law.

In January 2012, 55 television presenters and journalists from the Zeit im Bild editorial team, some of whom were prominent, published a privately produced protest video on YouTube in which criticism of the ORF management was made. The criticism assembly calls for journalistic independence, an end to the post haggling , a new supervisory body and a new editorial statute .

In 2014, independent Austrian journalists, including Claus Reitan , Andreas Unterberger , Kurt Ceipek and Christian Ortner , founded the website, whose goal, according to the company, is to promote a free and public debate about the one-sided reporting and the privileges of the to enable radio and television fees that are dependent on state and politics as well as various aspects of abuse of power.

In 2015, the ORF Ethics Council criticized the appearances of ORF journalists at party events that were applied for as paid secondary employment and approved by ORF. This is fundamentally incompatible with ORF law, program guidelines and the code of conduct.

Rudolf Mitlöhner , editor-in-chief of the weekly newspaper Die Furche , criticized ORF in February 2017 for a “quasi semi-official [semi-official] point of view, a mainstream of published opinion”, [...] in which “arrogance, narrow-mindedness, aloofness, something of everything - des political media Juste Milieu ”show. The ORF reports “on its various platforms with a tendency to disguise” (ie dishonestly or with the misappropriation of certain information) and give the contributions “a certain amount of spin by moderation or moderation ”.

Christian W. Mucha , publisher and editor-in-chief of the media magazine Extradienst , criticizes the fact that in the "ORF completely unabashedly subcutaneously opinion and information are mashed up by certain left and green parties." One-sidedness is the greatest burden on the ORF reporting level, which is "always contested and yet so often it is played partly subcutaneously, partly cheekily demonstratively and ostentatiously without any consideration. "ORF employees should" keep their basic political views to themselves instead of allowing them to flow into their work. "


According to an OGM survey carried out in 2019, a majority of Austrians consider the political reporting to be “very” (20%) or “somewhat” (35%) satisfactory. A minority consider them “less” (25%) or “unsatisfactory” (15%). This means that satisfaction with political reporting has recently increased. In an OGM survey carried out in 2018, 10% of Austrians considered ORF's political reporting to be “very” objective and correct, 33% as “somewhat” objective and correct. 26% thought they were “less”, 23% “not at all” correct. 48% of the respondents were very or somewhat satisfied with the ORF program. In a referendum, 62% of those questioned would have voted for the abolition of ORF fees .

In March 2019, a study by SORA on behalf of ORF on trust in ORF and other media was presented to the audience council. According to this, the ORF offers enjoy the greatest trust among domestic information providers. The political attitudes of the respondents were also surveyed. It turned out that there is a connection between trust and political attitudes. People who describe themselves as "left" trust the station more (grade 1.7) than supporters of the "middle" (grade 2.3) or those who classify themselves as "right" (grade 2.8). Overall, trust in radio (grade 2.2) is higher than in television (grade 2.3). In the same study, 53 percent of those questioned also spoke out against ORF journalists giving personal opinions on political issues on social media platforms, 31 percent advocating such comments, 12 percent are undecided.

Violations of the law

In 2008 the media supervisory authority reported 19 alleged violations of the ORF law and advertising regulations to the Federal Communications Senate. At the end of 2008, the Federal Communications Senate condemned the ORF in 16 of the 19 cases for illegal surreptitious advertising, lack of advertising separation and prohibited cross-promotion . Most recently, in 2014, the media authority KommAustria found several violations of the ORF law in three legally concluded proceedings. The fine for surreptitious advertising, unauthorized interruption of advertising and illegal sponsorship notices from a daily newspaper and two betting providers in a sports program was 660,000 euros.

Based on a complaint from the Association of Austrian Private Broadcasters (VÖP) in 2011, the Administrative Court ruled that the ORF was violating its programming mandate. The TV programs of the ORF are too entertaining; the proportions of entertainment, information, culture and sport in the overall program are not in an appropriate and balanced relationship to one another.

In May 2018, the ORF subsidiary simpliTV was convicted by the Vienna Higher Regional Court for forcing customers to accept terms and conditions that allowed simpliTV, ORF and GIS to pass on customer data for advertising purposes. The use of a particularly expensive 0810 number as a customer service hotline was also judged to be illegal.

Salaries, pensions, severance payments

The salaries at ORF are almost twice as high as the industry average. Added to this are the numerous individual allowances in ORF and the income from secondary employment (moderation, lectures, advertising), which can amount to high sums for ORF presenters. In a report, the Court of Auditors criticized the "extremely generous" severance pay regulations, the voluntary social benefits, bonuses and the pension regulations, which far exceed the statutory obligations of the ORF. The takeover of freelance employees of the ORF as employees took place on conditions that were far above the relevant collective agreements and the previously paid fees.

ORF General Director Alexander Wrabetz earns an average of 410,000 euros. The salaries of the directors below are around 300,000 euros. According to the Court of Auditors' report for 2011/12, the average severance pay for ORF country directors was EUR 416,600 per person. The journalist and SPÖ politician Eugen Freund, for example, received 246,000 euros in severance pay. Former ORF information director Elmar Oberhauser received 668,007 euros in additional pension entitlements for severance pay and pension entitlements only on the basis of an oral promise.


Through a stake in Austrian Lotteries , the ORF is active in the gaming business together with the gaming group Novomatic and earns profits, among other things, from the lottery, pools, the online gaming platform win2day and the gaming salons of WINWIN , the largest gaming arcade operator in with over 5000 concessions for gaming machines Austria.
In this way, the ORF earns threefold from advertising for games of chance, from the sales themselves and from the gambling programs in the program such as the lottery drawing 6 out of 45 with Joker , Bingo , Die Briefloshow , ToiToiToi and Money Maker .

The ORF is represented on the supervisory board of Austrian Lotteries with General Director Alexander Wrabetz.

Radio quota

Although the ORF has been proactively promoting Austrian film since 1981, Austrian music is neglected on the other hand. To date, Austria has neither a radio quota on the basis of state regulation nor a radio quota on the basis of self-regulation , since the self-regulation propagated by the public ORF radio stations in December 2009 to play a 30 percent share of Austrian music has been up to now was never implemented (as of June 2016). This subordination of German-language and / or local music began with the beginnings of the Ö3 station in the instruction of the so-called Schnulzenerlaß of July 1968.

State studios

The ORF has a regional studio in each of the nine Austrian federal states, each of which operates its own regional radio station and broadcasts state television daily via ORF 2. The Landesstudio Tirol also produces regional television for the German-speaking population of South Tyrol .


The programs of the ORF are u. a. broadcast via these ORS broadcasting systems (selection):

Business figures, employees

Financial result

In 2017, sales amounted to 993.6 million euros, of which 624.8 million came from fees , 232.6 million from advertising and 136.3 million from special advertising and license income. A ten-year comparison shows that sales have only increased slightly (+ 8%) since 2007, while income from fees rose by around a third and now amounts to 63% of sales. Advertising income fell by almost a quarter.


In 2011, ORF employed 4,103 full-time equivalent people. In 2012, 929 full-time equivalents were employed in the state studios. Fixed contract workers are included there. Fluctuating temporary workers and not paid according to the fee catalog, their share of total personnel expenses was 11.6% in 2012. Statistics with official figures from the ORF indicate 2885 employees for the end of 2015.

ORF General Director
Alexander Wrabetz

The General Director is elected by the Board of Trustees for five years and is the sole managing director of the entire company. Alexander Wrabetz has been General Director since January 1, 2007 . Each ORF regional studio is headed by a regional director.

Current directors (Wrabetz III management team, as of January 2017)

Country directors (as of January 2017)

  • Werner Herics, Burgenland
  • Karin Bernhard, Carinthia
  • Norbert Gollinger, Lower Austria
  • Kurt Rammerstorfer, Upper Austria
  • Christoph Takacs , Salzburg
  • Gerhard Draxler, Styria
  • Helmut Krieghofer , Tyrol
  • Markus Klement, Vorarlberg
  • Brigitte Wolf, Vienna

Management second level (Wrabetz II, as of September 2012)

  • Fritz Dittlbacher , Editor-in-Chief ORF Information
  • Gerald Heidegger, editor-in-chief ORF-ON
  • Gerhard Klein, Head of the Science and Religion Department
  • Waltraud Langer , Head of Department at ORF Magazine
  • Martin Traxl , Head of the Culture Department
  • Peter Schöber , Managing Director ORF III (program)
  • Eva Schindlauer, Managing Director ORF III (commercial)
  • Hannes Aigelsreiter, radio editor-in-chief
  • Hans Peter Trost, Head of Department at ORF Sport
  • Sepp Friedl, Head of the High Definition department

The ORF has several foreign offices and correspondents to support its international reporting. Roland Adrowitzer has been the coordinator of the correspondent's offices since 2010 .


Program broadcasts can be ordered as copies from the ORF customer service. Special historical programs are available in the online archive.

Together with the daily newspaper Die Presse , ORF has been honoring well-deserved personalities from the categories of science , business and humanity as Austrian of the year every year since 2004 .

Every year since 1990 the Kurier has awarded the Golden Romy to the most popular and best television and film- makers in memory of the Vienna-born actress Romy Schneider . The Romy is now one of the most important Austrian television awards.

As part of the film / television agreement , the ORF annually provides 0.56% of its total annual income, which is currently around 6 million euros, to promote Austrian feature films. Furthermore, the ORF operates the free child and youth telephone care service 147 - advice on wire .

See also


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Austrian Lotteries Organization Chart
  2. Only the program management should design the program. In: Arbeiter-Zeitung , December 12, 1957.
  3. ^ Entry on Österreichischer Rundfunk in the Austria Forum  (in the AEIOU Austria Lexicon ) accessed on January 22, 2012.
  4. Setback for the ORF: Supreme Court overturns GIS fees for streaming, unsubscribing wave looms. July 27, 2015. From, accessed October 1, 2019.
  5. simpliTV (DVB-T2). DVB-T Austria info page. On, accessed on October 1, 2019.
  6. Federal Law Gazette I No. 126/2011 amending the ORF Act.
  7. After streaming judgment: ORF is looking for new sources of money. At, accessed on July 28, 2015.
  8. Harald Fidler : ORF subsidiary sold all rights to the ORF archive. In: The Standard . March 4, 2009, p. 30.
  9. ORF logo with ORF lettering ( memento from February 8, 2013 in the Internet Archive ), MAK Vienna homepage
  10. Rotating logos FS1 and FS2 on Youtube
  11. ^ “ORF-Auge” disappears from ORF 1 ,, November 16, 2010
  12. Owl and Wiesel from "2 × 7" (ORF, 1990). In: ORF, March 30, 2012, accessed on June 27, 2016 .
  13. ^ ORF children's program: Purple wild boar instead of confetti , die Presse, August 8, 2008.
  14. STATISTICS AUSTRIA , accessed on January 15, 2019.
  15. SRGSSR , accessed on February 14, 2019.
  16. European Commission , accessed February 14, 2019.
  17. ^ Bernhard Baumgartner: ORF assigns TV stations to social groups. In: Wiener Zeitung. December 4, 2018, accessed December 7, 2018 .
  18. STATISTICS AUSTRIA , accessed on March 5, 2018.
  19. ^ Crisis meeting on ORF due to falling quotas, accessed on November 29, 2014.
  20. ^ Upper Austrian news: For the first time in TV history, private broadcaster in front of the ORF . September 15, 2018 ( [accessed on September 20, 2018]).
  21. ORF focuses on Küniglberg, March 6, 2014.
  22. New control software for ORS uplinks. In: ORS Tech Blog, December 2, 2015, accessed June 27, 2016 .
  23. Austria: One million digital satellite households report on digital television from March 26, 2007.
  24. ORF ends encrypted Betacrypt broadcast via satellite Sat + Kabel ( memento from December 7, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) on May 20, 2008.
  25. "Telekom Austria and ORF realized technical network configuration for HDTV" of 23 January 2008.
  26. ORF starts in the HDTV era ORF-On from June 2, 2008
  27. ORF ON of May 6, 2008: "UPC launches digital HDTV service"
  28. Report of the business magazine Report Plus, TA plans HDTV via IPTV from June 2008
  29. ORF2 HD shortly before the start
  30. ORF continues to expand HDTV offer. In: Retrieved June 27, 2016 .
  31. The Austrian Broadcasting Chronicle ( Memento from June 22, 2006 in the Internet Archive )
  32. Comparison of the screen logo before and after Neville Brody's design in the early 90s
  33. Close your eyes: The ORF is graying
  34. ^ Measures taken by the ORF to protect minors ( Memento from July 13, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
  35. New “Outfit” for ORF April 1st, 25th, 2019, accessed on May 29th, 2019 .
  36. Results of the ÖWA Plus 2017-IV, accessed on May 16, 2018
  37. ( Memento from May 9, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
  38. ^ Heise Online: Österreichischer Rundfunk: More money and advertising - but less online content , accessed on July 15, 2010
  39. : Download: Neue Mediengesetze, new ORF law , July 26, 2010. Accessed on September 13, 2010.
  40. Kurier online: buys ORF Futurezone ( Memento from September 11, 2010 in the Internet Archive )
  41. Competitive Analysis, Marketing Mix and Traffic - Alexa . Retrieved July 5, 2020.
  42. Cable operators want to tap into ORF archives. In: The Standard . October 17, 2008.
  43. ORF-TVThek now with a new design and new features - Retrieved May 29, 2019 (Austrian German).
  44. Content utilization on all ORF platforms . medianet. June 18, 2013. Retrieved June 18, 2013.
  45. ORF TV counter
  46. ORF builds on on-demand videos . October 8, 2009. Retrieved May 10, 2011.
  47. ORF starts online video portal TVthek ORF Futurezone on November 13, 2009.
  48. ORF wants to get the TVthek on iPad and Co. , accessed on September 1, 2010.
  49. ORF market shares in 2009 at an all-time low on January 4, 2009 (agency report, therefore now offline).
  50. ORF-TVthek recorded 14.4 million video views per month in 2013. In: January 2, 2014, accessed June 27, 2016 .
  51. a b derStandard - ORF publishes TVthek app for Windows Phone 8 . Article from February 5, 2014, accessed on January 6, 2015.
  52. Very good: ORF-TVthek goes on ÖBB-Railjets, WLAN improved. In: ORF, accessed on October 25, 2016 .
  53. ÖBB press - madly good: ORF-TVthek rides in ÖBB Railjets, next-generation WiFi is now available. In: ÖBB, June 8, 2016, accessed on October 25, 2016 .
  54. ORF-TVthek new: Relaunch of the most successful Austrian video platform. Retrieved May 29, 2019 .
  55. Ex-ORF boss Podgorski: What Faymann can learn from Wrabetz, accessed on September 24, 2015
  56. The political influence on ORF has solidified Website of the daily newspaper Die Presse , Vienna, May 7, 2014.
  57. Steger is the first blue chairman of the ORF Board of Trustees Website of the daily newspaper Der Standard , Vienna, May 17, 2018.
  58. ^ ZIB editorial office of ORF: The protest video
  59. No production by ORF. ZiB-Redaktion opens a protest video channel on YouTube . In: Der Standard , January 16, 2012.
  61. ORF ethics council reprimands Mari Lang and Karim El-Gawhary 19 February 2015
  62. Such and such facts. ( Memento from February 19, 2017 in the Internet Archive ) Rudolf Mitlöhner in: February 15, 2017. Retrieved February 18, 2017
  63. ↑ About wrong decisions, their fatal consequences and open doors
  64. ↑ Turning point for turning necks, accessed on April 19, 2018
  65. ^ OGM = Austrian Society for Marketing
  66. OGM survey: majority in favor of abolishing ORF fees, accessed on May 2, 2019
  67. KURIER-OGM survey: majority rejects ORF fees from, accessed on March 21, 2018
  68. Study: Majority against opinion postings by ORF journalists. Retrieved March 18, 2019 .
  69. Clear majority against political tweets from ORF celebrities, accessed on May 3, 2019
  70. Politically right people have less trust in ORF than leftists. In: March 14, 2019, accessed March 18, 2019 .
  71. Clear majority against political tweets from ORF celebrities. March 14, 2019, accessed March 18, 2019 .
  72. Der Standard , December 15, 2008, page 18
  73. ORF has to pay a fine of 660,000 euros Die Presse, accessed on February 7, 2015
  74. VwGH confirms VÖP complaint to ORF television program Association of Austrian Private Broadcasters (VÖP), accessed on March 15, 2018
  75. simpliTV: AGB and hotline according to the judgment illegally, accessed on June 4, 2018
  76. ORF salaries almost twice as high as the industry average, accessed on July 29, 2015
  77. ↑ Report on the Court of Auditors, Österreichischer Rundfunk, accessed on March 5, 2018
  78. throw for ORF-Gage Report, accessed on April 7, 2017
  79. 416,600 euros per ORF director, accessed on July 29, 2015
  80. Eugen Freund reveals references to ORF Salzburger Nachrichten, accessed on July 29, 2015
  81. Oberhauser is expensive for ORF, accessed on July 29, 2015
  82. Gambling: ORF made a profit of 16 million euros in 2012 with its participation in the Austrian Lotteries! Retrieved February 7, 2015
  83. ORF im Glück, accessed on March 15, 2018
  84. Austrian Lotteries, Supervisory Board , accessed on February 7, 2015.
  85. Balance 2017: ORF writes million profit. In: March 18, 2018, accessed May 8, 2019 .
  86. Harald Fiedler: Media giant of little Austria. In: Der Standard , May 2, 2008, p. 32.
  87. ↑ Scope of the Federal Ministries for Finance, Transport, Innovation and Technology, .GIS Fee Info Service GmbH , 2007-06.
  88. ^ Report of the Court of Auditors, Österreichischer Rundfunk; Follow-up review
  89. Statistics Austria: Personnel (employees) of the ORF according to branches 1970 to 2011, online
  90. Report of the Court of Auditors, Landesstudios des Österreichischen Rundfunks, 2015-03.
  91. - Eva Schindlauer new ORF 3 managing director . Article dated November 25, 2014, accessed November 26, 2014.
  92. ORF: Roland Adrowitzer “Coordinator of the ORF Correspondents Offices”, May 11, 2010, online
  93. ORF general director appoints channel managers and editors-in-chief . Retrieved May 25, 2018.
  94. Order ORF broadcasts as copies. Österreichischer Rundfunk, accessed on October 18, 2017 .
  95. Archives. Österreichischer Rundfunk, accessed on October 18, 2017 .