Under the Bavarian Media Act (BayMG), one of the official duties of the state media authority is to promote variety in television and radio programming and to provide the technical infrastructure required for broadcasting. The specific funding measures provided in the BLM budget are designed to promote technological advances, to compensate for local and regional disadvantage, and to incentivize innovation. The objective of these funding initiatives is to ensure stable and equal coverage for all commercial broadcasting services in Bavaria. With the BLM’s support, the broadcasters it licenses can use state-of-the-art technology to improve efficiency in their everyday broadcasting operations and lay the groundwork for new technological developments.
Commercial TV channels in Bavaria are broadcast via terrestrial, cable or satellite networks. There are two statewide channels transmitted via cable in Bavaria (so-called Bayerische Fernsehfensterprogramme) as well as 14 local/regional channels.
The BLM has also increased its focus on broadcasting local TV via satellite and hybrid TV (HbbTV). With funding from the BLM, these local TV broadcasters have also established online media libraries that viewers can access via smartphones and tablets.
In addition to the BLM’s financial support for TV productions, Art 23 BayMG provides roughly 11 million euros for technical infrastructure funding for local and regional broadcasting. This funding round runs until December 31, 2024.
These funds benefit local/regional TV and special-interest programming by Bavarian producers approved and commissioned by the BLM, which were originally broadcast via cable and satellite. This ensures equal coverage in Bavaria for these TV programs and helps them become economically viable (shortfall funding). Internet streaming and digital platforms are also eligible for this funding.
As of 1985, all commercial radio stations in Bavaria are broadcast using FM frequencies. The BLM has been promoting DAB+ for several years in an effort to move terrestrial broadcasting into the digital age. The first digital radio shows went on air in Bavaria as early as 1999. As of spring 2021, listeners can access all FM radio stations via DAB+ as well. Online audio is another option in the digital media world (e.g., web radio), as well as linear broadcasting via satellite and cable.
Programs & services
Under the Bavarian Media Act (BayMG), the BLM has a duty to contribute to the diversity and quality of commercial broadcasting, among other things by promoting the production of certain types of programs and services or by providing funding for technical infrastructure. The BLM also has a mandate to promote media education and literacy.
Ensuring diversity of programming is not only a matter of providing a wide variety of broadcasting channels but also a diverse range of programs on each channel. To this end, the BLM promotes the production of programming on cultural, economic, social or religious issues on commercial channels in Bavaria, aiming for the highest possible share of in-house productions.
Commercial broadcasters in Bavaria can apply for funding to produce high-quality programs and series. Each year, the BLM specifies a particular topic that should feature widely in the programming content of commercial radio and television stations.
Local television stations also receive funding from the Bavarian state budget, while statewide television stations are supported by the national broadcasters. The BLM organizes and distributes funding for television productions.
BLM local radio and TV awards
The BLM recognizes journalistic excellence produced by local commercial radio and television stations with its annual radio and television awards. They are presented during the “Lokalrundfunktage” conference held in Nuremberg each year and also include prizes for the best commercials on local radio and television.
Film & television productions
The BLM contributes to the promotion of film and television productions in Bavaria both via a financial contribution in excess of 1,28 million Euros (2023) as a shareholder of the FilmFernsehFonds Bayern GmbH. It also actively participates in the selection procedures for the promotion of film and television productions.
Training & enhancing skills
The BLM has developed a number of approaches to assist newcomers in the media in enhancing their professional competence. As a key measure for training and enhancing skills, it organises workshops and participates in training institutions offering financial or human resources. In addition, it has set up audio and tv services organised by the Mediaschool Bayern for on-air training of new staff.
The workshops organised by the BLM comprise courses for editors, trainees, presenters/announcers and technical staff working in the commercial radio and television stations in Bavaria.
Practicing sustainability, assuming journalistic responsibility – this is the motto of the Sustainability Pact for the Media in Bavaria. The BLM launched the pact in 2022 under the patronage of Ilse Aigner, President of the Bavarian State Parliament (Bayerischer Landtag).
The idea that the media plays a special role in democracy is fundamental to the pact’s mission. To do justice to this role and to remain relevant, it is more important than ever for the media industry to accept its journalistic responsibility. The Sustainability Pact for the Media in Bavaria is designed to encourage smaller media companies in particular to embrace sustainable principles in their business activities.
The guidelines of the Sustainability Pact of the Media in Bavaria offer media companies domiciled in Bavaria very practical tools to help continuously expand and develop their own sustainability strategies.
The founding partners of the Sustainability Pact of the Media in Bavaria are Amazon Prime Video Germany, Bayerischer Rundfunk, ego FM, ProSiebenSat.1 and Vodafone Germany, with an opportunity for new partners to join the pact at any time.
Media literacy & media education
Promoting media literacy is one of the official mandates of the BLM. For many years, it has been advocating for a more thoughtful, critical and responsible approach to the media.
The BLM’s media education efforts are directed toward the everyday lives of the users and take into account the needs, interests and abilities of various target groups. Children and young people are a particular focus, as they are still in the early stages of development and must learn early on how to use media responsibly.
Some of the BLM’s media education efforts are targeted at parents and educators. When teaching young people about media literacy, it is important to make them aware of both the benefits and the risks of media consumption.
The goal of the BLM’s media literacy and education efforts is to promote a thoughtful and critical approach to media use.
Promoting innovation & Bavaria-based media businesses
To promote innovation and Bavaria’s media business, the BLM founded Medien.Bayern GmbH, a 100% subsidiary. The majority of its projects are funded by the Bavarian State Chancellery (Bayerische Staatskanzlei) and the Bavarian State Ministry for Digital Affairs (Bayerisches Staatsministerium für Digitales).
Through its support of media companies as well as on-air and behind-the-scenes talent in Bavaria, Medien.Bayern GmbH is shaping the future of media. After all, it takes a strong, diverse and independent media sector to keep both our society and our democracy strong. This is precisely what Medien.Bayern GmbH intends to do through its eight sub-brands, each with a different focus:
Media Lab Bayern
Media Lab Bayern is an innovation hub for digital media and digital journalism in Munich and Ansbach. Providing startup subsidies, networking opportunities with established media companies and incentives for innovative talent and media students, Media Lab is the right place for the innovators who are reshaping today’s media.
MedienNetzwerk Bayern is an initiative designed to promote future-proof innovations and Bavaria’s status as a location for media business. Its events and projects bring the Bavarian media industry together to exchange views on the trends and challenges associated with digital transformation. In addition to networking opportunities within individual segments of the media (e.g., audio, film or press), it looks to bring stakeholders together across industry boundaries (collaborating with industries from automotive to medicine and science).
Games/Bavaria is looking to take Bavaria’s games industry to the next level. It supports companies and creatives in Bavaria, regardless of scale, experience or background. From knowledge sharing to networking opportunities within the games industry, Games/Bavaria provides an important forum for exchange and cooperation.
MEDIENTAGE MÜNCHEN is one of the most pioneering events in Europe’s media and communications sector. With more than 7,000 participants from Germany and abroad, 500 speakers and 100+ individual events, the conference takes place each October in Munich. The MEDIENTAGE team is also active in organizing additional events such as the local broadcasting conference “Lokalrundfunktage” as well as lecture and panel discussion series on such topics as the future of the moving image.
Start into Media
The Start into Media (SIM) initiative coordinates media education and training in the Free State of Bavaria and supports educational institutions in developing new training initiatives and recruiting young talent. In an effort to address the shortage of skilled workers in the media industry, SIM aims to motivate young people to choose a career in the media and provides information about Bavaria-based opportunities in this field.
XPLR:MEDIA in Bavaria
The objective of XPLR:MEDIA is to increase Bavaria’s appeal as a location for media by raising awareness about successful media businesses active in the Free State. From sharing key developments in the sector to highlighting best cases, XPLR:MEDIA seeks to inspire media professionals and showcase the innovation happening in Bavaria’s media sector.
XR Hub Bavaria
What are the practical uses for virtual reality (VR) and extended reality (XR) in the corporate world? You can find the answers at XR HUB Bavaria, an initiative focused on all aspects and applications of XR technology. The project has three offices across the Free State: XR HUB Munich, XR HUB Nuremberg and XR HUB Würzburg.
Every year, the Blue Panther TV and streaming awards are presented to German TV productions, German-language productions by streaming providers and moving image content produced by web creators for online platforms. The awards recognize excellence in the following categories: non-fiction/journalism, fiction, entertainment and arts/education.