Changes to the German TV and Radio License in 2013

TV set - ©Can Stock Photo Inc. / megastockerThe concept of a Television License is not completely foreign to someone moving to Germany from many countries, but the idea of a radio license probably is for many. In fact it is probably one of the many pitfalls for students moving here who do not bring a television with them but maybe a radio alarmclock.

The current system used to be quite simple. If you had just a radio, then you paid for a radio license. If you had a television, then you paid for a television license and this included your radio. Families only needed one license, regardless of how many radios and televisions they owned, as long as any offspring did not have their own income.

And you had to pay just for owning a set, even if you never even switched it on or just watched DVDs with it.

Businesses had to pay per set, so a radio license was required for each office with a radio it in and for each company car.

There were some special cases, but generally this is the way that the system worked until a few years ago. [Read more…]

Das Sandmännchen

The Sandmännchen is an animated figure in German childrens’ television. It is shown every day on KiKa (“Kinderkanal”) just before 7pm.

The Sandmann shown today is evolved from an East-German production, as can be seen by some of the buildings and clothing in the series. The puppet arrives in the scene and introduces a short film to the children. After the film he sends the children to bed by releasing sand (“Schlafsand”) and then leaves.

To hear a simple explanation in German, listen to the podcast:

(Press the “play” button to listen to the podcast)

Download a transcript

Download the MP3 file | Subscribe to the podcast

Who wants to be a Millionaire Host?

Have you ever wondered what it would be like, if the host of “Who wants to be a Millionare?” (“Wer wird Millionär?”) was to change places a be on the hot seat himself?

Well, during a celebrity special in Germany that is exactly what happened. Host Günther Jauch changed places with his contestent, Horst Schlämmer.

You can watch it at in 4 parts: 1 2 3 4 – the switch is in the 2nd part at around time index 06:00.

Another interesting scene is in part 3 around 02:40 when Horst (played by Hape Kerkeling, who speaks Spanish) notes that he could have answered the 32.000€ question himself – without a joker.

For this scene they were awarded the “Deutscher Fernsehpreis”.

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