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Station logo
ARD Logo 1954.png
General information
Reception: analog terrestrial
Broadcasting company: ARD
Start of broadcast: May 1, 1961
Closing date: March 31, 1963
Legal form: Public law
Program type: Full program
List of TV channels

The ARD operational from 1 June 1961 to 31 March 1963 almost nationwide a second television , which in retrospect as ARD 2 is called. In the field of Hessian broadcasting, ARD 2 went on air as early as May 1, 1961 as the Hessian contrast program or second program .

Decision of the Prime Ministers

In their conference on March 17, 1961, the Prime Ministers spoke out in favor of ARD setting up a second television program. It was a recommendation, not an order, but it was already implemented at the ARD general meeting on March 23rd in Munich. The broadcast should begin on June 1, 1961, although the individual stations were allowed to start earlier. The Hessischer Rundfunk made use of this and offered a second program as early as May 1, 1961.

The creation of a nationwide program was controversial at the conference; Bavaria in particular advocated the creation of a regional program. The compromise that was agreed therefore stipulated that the individual state broadcasters were allowed to disengage themselves from the community program in order to broadcast a regional program.


The second program of the ARD was broadcast mainly on the frequencies that should later fall to the ZDF . However, the broadcasting network had by no means reached the later stage of expansion, which meant that the program, especially in rural regions, could not be received at all, only with increased effort or only at a later point in time. Since all frequencies in the UHF range were involved, reception also required a second antenna and a television set with a UHF receiver; A separate UHF converter was required for devices with a pure VHF tuner . The overall consequence of the aspects mentioned was that only about 10% of all television viewers could receive ARD 2 at the start of the broadcast.


The program of ARD 2 began daily at 8 p.m. with the takeover of the daily news from the first program and usually ended between 10 p.m. and midnight. It consisted of repetitions of magazine programs from the first program, such as B. Panorama , as well as documentaries and feature films. ARD 2 also acted as a replacement platform for programs such as the Sportschau , if it could not be broadcast in the first program due to special programs.

In contrast to what was usual in the first program at the time, only Westdeutsche Rundfunk broadcast a regional program in its broadcasting area on ARD 2 . It was the Prism of the West , which ran on working days at 7:30 p.m. before the start of the regular ARD-2 program. In the first program, WDR showed its regional magazine Hier und Heute from 6:40 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. , and series ran from 7:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. The Bavarian Broadcasting Corporation did not make use of this option, although the Minister President's Conference had advocated it.

The proportions with which the individual state broadcasters contributed to the program differed from those of the first program. From January 1, 1962, the following division applied:

Institution ARD ARD 2
WDR 22.5% 30%
NDR 22.5% 22%
BR 17% 15%
SWF 8th % 6%
MR 8th % 9%
SDR 8th % 6%
SFB 8th % 7%
SR 3% 2%
RB 3% 3%

The program director of WDR television, Hans Joachim Lange, was elected as coordinator for ARD 2. The following agreements applied to the program scheme:

June 1 to December 31, 1961 January 1 to June 30, 1962
Sunday Current magazine Das Panorama
entertainment film
Current magazine Das Panorama
Monday Feature film
Political magazine The Zone has the floor
Feature film
quiz shows
Tuesday Foreign reports
reports "upscale" entertainment
Wednesday Culture magazine
Experimental programs
Studiobühne (stage performances)
Thursday Entertainment
crime film
Free design by an ARD station
Friday Entertainment
Current shows and documentaries
Saturday Film
stage performances
Television games

For ARD 2, the state broadcasters received 50% of the ZDF share of the television fees.

The End

ARD 2 was intended as a temporary measure from the start. The broadcast was supposed to end on June 30, 1962, and earlier if ZDF started broadcasting earlier. Since the preparations at ZDF were delayed, the period was extended to March 31, 1963. On April 1, 1963, ZDF then took over the broadcasting chain and started broadcasting.

The ARD thus only had one television program available again. The hopes of some broadcasters to be able to continue with another program immediately could not be realized. However, the ARD quickly began building the third television programs . The Bavarian Television thus started already on 22 September 1964, less than one and a half years after the end of ARD second

Until September 30, 1963, the Prisma des Westens was still broadcast on the ZDF frequencies in the broadcasting area of ​​the WDR . It ran on working days from 6:45 p.m. to 7:08 p.m. and thus during the main advertising period, which meant a significant loss of income for ZDF. This was an initiative by Prime Minister Franz Meyers , which the WDR only reluctantly implemented. It was hoped that by the uninterrupted broadcast of the regional program, a third television program could already be started by the end of the deadline.


  • Heiko Flottau: Radio and television today. Günter Olzog Verlag, Munich 1972. ISBN 3-7892-7048-2
  • Klaus Wehmeier: The history of ZDF. Hase & Koehler Verlag, Mainz 1979. ISBN 3-7758-0978-3

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b SECOND PROGRAM: Reversed roles . In: Der Spiegel . No. 23 , 1961 ( online - May 31, 1961 ).
  2. a b SECOND PROGRAM: Conny on channel 17 . In: Der Spiegel . No. 18 , 1961 ( online - 26 April 1961 ).
  3. a b The history of ZDF, Chapter 2.4 Provisional second ARD television program
  4. The history of ZDF, Chapter 5.5 WDR's window program on the ZDF broadcasting chain