Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen, officially abbreviated as ZDF, is a German public-service television broadcaster based in Mainz, Rhineland-Palatinate. It is run as an independent nonprofit institution, which was founded by all federal states of Germany. ZDF is financed by television licence fees and advertising revenues.
The broadcaster is well known for its famous programmes heute, a newscast established in 1963, and Wetten, dass..? an entertainment show that premiered in 1981, and ended in 2014. Thomas Bellut, ZDF's director general, was elected by the ZDF Television Council in 2011.
HistoryIn 1959, the government of Konrad Adenauer began preparations to form a second nationwide television network with the intention of competing with ARD. Adenauer perceived ARD's news coverage to be too critical of his government, and believed that two of the organizations primarily responsible for its news reporting – the Deutsche Presse-Agentur and Nordwestdeutscher Rundfunk, which produced the nightly Tagesschau – were too close to the opposition Social Democratic Party to ever be able to report neutrally on his Christian Democratic Union government. The new television company, called the Freies Fernsehen Gesellschaft but derisively called Adenauer-Fernsehen by critics, was founded on 25 July 1960.
The Deutsche Bundespost began constructing a second transmitter network on UHF channels, which required new reception equipment. For older receivers, a converter was sold for about 80 DM. As with the earlier ARD television network, the location of the transmitters was carefully planned to ensure the entire country would be able to receive the programming.
To test the transmitters and encourage the public to purchase UHF receivers, the federal government allowed the ARD network to create a temporary secondary channel, ARD 2, which was broadcast daily from 8 to 10 pm. ARD 2 began broadcasting on 1 May 1961 in the transmission area of Hessischer Rundfunk and a month later expanded nationwide.
Interstate agreementThe SPD-led states of Hamburg, Bremen, Lower Saxony, and Hesse appealed to the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany, which on 28 February 1961 in the :de:1. Rundfunk-Urteil|First Broadcasting Judgment blocked the plan. While building and maintaining telecommunications infrastructure, such as television transmitters, is a responsibility of the federal government under article 87f of the Basic Law, the constitution does not extend these duties to running a television or radio broadcaster. Under article 30, any power or duty not explicitly assigned to the federal government is reserved for the states. Therefore, the court ruled only the states had the right to set up a television broadcaster.
After this decision, in March 1961, the states decided to establish a central nonprofit public television network independently of Adenauer's effort. On 6 June 1961, the state premiers signed at a premiers' conference in Stuttgart the interstate agreement on the "establishment of the public institution Second German Television". On 1 December 1961, though not all states had ratified the agreement, it went into force in the states that had done so. The last state, Bavaria, filed the instrument of ratification on 9 July 1962.
LaunchThe station began broadcasting from Eschborn near Frankfurt am Main on 1 April 1963, with a speech by the first director general, Dr. Karl Holzamer. The channel broadcast its first programme in colour in 1967. In 1974, ZDF moved its base of operations to Mainz-Lerchenberg, after briefly being located in Wiesbaden. From 5 October 1996 ZDF broadcasts 24 hours a day.
FinancesZDF is financed by a license fee of €17.50 per month, which must be paid by all households in Germany, except handicapped people and persons on social aid. ZDF shares the income with ARD and Deutschlandradio. The fees are not collected directly by ZDF, but by the Beitragsservice, a common organization of the ARD member broadcasters, ZDF, and Deutschlandradio. ZDF also has income from sponsorships and programming and advertising sales.
Transmission and reception
TerrestrialAs ZDF is a channel, not a network, the channel is broadcast throughout Germany, with no regional variations or affiliates, using a number of signal repeaters. ZDF transmitters broadcast a digital signal. Analog signals were gradually phased out, a process which lasted from 2002 to 2008. ZDF does not run any transmitters itself. Throughout the analogue days, all ZDF transmitters were run by the Deutsche Bundespost which was later privatised as Deutsche Telekom's subsidiary T-Systems Media Broadcast. ZDF was not previously allowed to use ARD's transmitters. ZDF has used both ARD and Telekom transmitters since changes to the law in the 1990s, and since the digital switchover.
CableZDF has also been relayed by cable since the days of the first cable pilot projects.
SatelliteThe first Europe-wide satellite broadcast via Astra 1C began in August 1993 during the Internationale Funkausstellung Berlin in Berlin. In the same decade, these new technologies were used to enable digital broadcasting of ZDF. Today, ZDF is available free-to-air throughout Europe on Astra 19.2°E.
Other zdf channelsZDF operates two digital channels: ZDFneo and ZDFinfo. Both are transmitted in SD and HD. A commercial subsidiary called ZDF Enterprises GmbH manages programme sales, acquisitions, international coproductions, and a growing number of important activities in new media. ZDF Enterprises owns Dutch production company Off the Wall. ZDF also operates various channels in cooperation with other networks:KI.KA, Arte, 3sat, and Phoenix
DesignZDF's animated station-identity mascots, the Mainzelmännchen, created by Wolf Gerlach for the channel's launch in 1963, quickly became popular and are still shown between commercials.
In 1976, Otl Aicher, a graphic designer, created ZDF's corporate design. A new design for ZDF was created by Lee Hunt in February 2000. and also a song of. Bin ein Mainzelmann by VOOZ Character System
Director generalAdministratively, ZDF is headed by a director general, who is elected by the ZDF Television Council, the composition of which is in turn determined by "societally relevant groups" named in the ZDF Treaty.
Directors General since the start of ZDF:
- 1963–1977: Karl Holzamer
- 1977–1982: Karl-Günther von Hase
- 1982–2002: Dieter Stolte
- 2002–2012: Markus Schächter
- 2012–present: Thomas Bellut
- Five representatives of the federal states
- One representative of the federal republic of Germany
- Eight independent members
- Sixteen representatives of the states of Germany
- Two representatives of the federal republic of Germany
- Two representatives of the Protestant churches
- Two representatives of the Catholic Church
- One representative of the Central Council of Jews in Germany
- 21 representatives of selected civil society groups
- 16 members nominated by the federal states, representing different social causes
- 1, 2 oder 3
- Alfred J. Kwak
- Die Kinder von Bullerbü '
- Dog City
- Fraggle Rock '
- Hals über Kopf
- Pippi Langstrumpf '
- Cosmic Quantum Ray
- Tabaluga tivi
- The Muppet Show '
- The Simpsons
- ''Mia and Me
- Das Blaue Sofa
- Das Literarische Quartett
- 37 Grad
- Alexander the Great
- Die Deutschen
- Terra X
- Terra Xpress
- Bares für Rares, hosted by Horst Lichter
- Blond am Freitag
- Blond am Sonntag
- Dance Academy
- Das große Los – Die Show für die Aktion Sorgenkind, hosted by Dieter Thomas Heck
- Die Anstalt, comedy hosted by Claus von Wagner and Max Uthoff
- Die Goldene Kamera
- Die goldene Stimmgabel, hosted by Dieter Thomas Heck
- Die größten Musical Hits
- Die Helene Fischer Show, hosted by Helene Fischer
- Die Pyramide, German version of Pyramid hosted by Dieter Thomas Heck
- Die Pyramide, German version of Pyramid hosted by Micky Beisenherz and Joachim Llambi
- Die ZDF-Hitparade, hosted by Dieter Thomas Heck/Viktor Worms/Uwe Hübner
- Die ZDF-Kultnacht
- Grand Prix der Volksmusik
- heute-show, comedy hosted by Oliver Welke
- Kerner kocht, cooking show hosted by Johannes B. Kerner
- Lafer! Lichter! Lecker!, cooking show hosted by Johann Lafer and Horst Lichter
- Mainz bleibt Mainz, wie es singt und lacht
- Melodien für Millionen, hosted by Dieter Thomas Heck
- Musik liegt in der Luft, hosted by Dieter Thomas Heck
- Neues aus der Anstalt, comedy hosted by Urban Priol
- Nicht nachmachen!
- Rock Pop Music Hall
- Show Palast, hosted by Dieter Thomas Heck
- Wetten, dass..?, hosted by Frank Elstner/Thomas Gottschalk
- Willkommen bei Carmen Nebel, hosted by Carmen Nebel
- ZDF-Fernsehgarten, hosted by Andrea Kiewel
- Aktenzeichen XY … ungelöst, hosted by Eduard Zimmermann/Sabine Zimmermann/Butz Peters/Rudi Cerne
- Berlin direkt
- Bonn direkt
- Chronik der Woche
- Die Drehscheibe
- Frontal, hosted by Bodo H. Hauser and Ulrich Kienzle
- hallo deutschland
- heute aus den Ländern
- heute journal
- heute mittag
- heute nacht
- heute Xpress
- Kennzeichen D
- Leute heute
- ML Mona Lisa
- Volle Kanne – Service täglich
- ZDF-Magazin, hosted by Gerhard Löwenthal/Fritz Schenk/Wolfgang Weinert/Hans Scheicher
- Bella Block
- Borgia, co-producers CANAL+ and others
- The Bridge, co-producers Sveriges Television and DR
- Cologne P.D.
- Das Kriminalmuseum
- Das Traumschiff
- Der Adler – Die Spur des Verbrechens '
- Der Alte '
- Der Bergdoktor
- Der kleine Doktor
- Der Kommissar
- Der Kommissar und das Meer '
- Der Kriminalist
- Der Landarzt
- Die Bergretter
- Die Chefin
- Die Garmisch-Cops
- Die Rosenheim-Cops
- Die Schwarzwaldklinik '
- Die Toten vom Bodensee
- Diese Drombuschs
- Dr. Klein
- Ein Fall für Zwei
- Ein starkes Team
- Forsthaus Falkenau
- Freunde fürs Leben
- Girl friends – Freundschaft mit Herz
- Helen Dorn
- Herzensbrecher – Vater von vier Söhnen
- Highway to Heaven '
- Hotel Paradies
- Ich heirate eine Familie
- In Plain Sight
- Inga Lindström
- Jack Holborn
- Jack Taylor
- Jede Menge Leben
- Kidnap and Ransom '
- Kommissarin Lucas
- Kripo Holstein
- Ku'damm 56
- Leipzig Homicide
- Letzte Spur Berlin
- Lotta &...
- Magnum, P.I. '
- Midsomer murders '
- Mordkommission Königswinkel
- Morgen hör ich auf
- New Tricks '
- Notruf Hafenkante
- Ray Donovan
- Salto Kommunale
- Salto Postale
- SOKO 5113
- SOKO Donau/SOKO Wien
- SOKO Hamburg
- SOKO Kitzbühel
- SOKO Rhein-Main
- SOKO Wismar
- "Solo für Weiss"
- ' '
- ' '
- Stubbe – Von Fall zu Fall
- Stuttgart Homicide
- The Bold and the Beautiful '
- The Fall '
- The Five
- The Muppet Show '
- The Simpsons '
- The Young and the Restless '
- Unser Charly
- Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter
- Veronica Mars
- Welcome Back, Kotter
- das aktuelle sportstudio
- Dunja Hayali, hosted by Dunja Hayali
- Johannes B. Kerner, talk show hosted by Johannes B. Kerner
- Markus Lanz, talk show hosted by Markus Lanz
- Maybrit Illner, a political talk show hosted by Maybrit Illner
- Peter Hahne, hosted by Peter Hahne
- Tacheles, hosted by Johannes Gross
- Willemsens Woche, hosted by Roger Willemsen
- Zeugen des Jahrhunderts