BILD Digital Live TV streaming service approved

IRIS 2020-5:1/21

Dr. Jörg Ukrow

Institute of European Media Law (EMR), Saarbrücken/Brussels

On 31 March 2020, the Kommission für Zulassung und Aufsicht (Commission on Licensing and Supervision – ZAK) of the Landesmedienanstalten (regional media authorities) issued a broadcasting licence to BILD GmbH for its nationwide linear streaming service BILD Digital Live TV.

BILD GmbH, a 100% subsidiary of Axel Springer SE, had applied to the Medienanstalt Berlin-Brandenburg (Berlin-Brandenburg media authority – mabb) for a licence at the end of January 2020. The permanent licence was granted under Article 20a of the Rundfunkstaatsvertrag (Inter-State Broadcasting Agreement – RStV) subject to an assessment by the Kommission zur Ermittlung der Konzentration im Medienbereich (Commission on Concentration in the Media – KEK).

According to the application, the planned range of programmes will include a number of different linear broadcasting formats, spanning from live reporting on events, discussion programmes and talk shows to reporting on sports events.

The programmes will be broadcast via the BILD websites, all the associated mobile and smart TV apps, and Internet platforms such as Facebook and YouTube. There are also plans to distribute them on IPTV platforms, although they will not form part of the respective IPTV product, but will be integrated as an app or OTT service. Since the programmes will also be available via Germany’s most-read news website,, and BILD’s popular Facebook and YouTube channels, audience figures are expected to be very high.

The service will mainly consist of news and information programmes. Discussion programmes and talk shows will be devoted to topical news-related themes. Many of the programmes will be available on demand after their initial broadcast, either in full or in excerpt form.

The licensee must immediately inform the mabb whenever it wants to add or remove a linear stream from the service.

The ZAK granted the licence subject to an assessment by the ommission zur Ermittlung der Konzentration im Medienbereich (Commission on Concentration in the Media – KEK). In view of the case law of Germany’s highest administrative court, the Bundesverwaltungsgericht (Federal Administrative Court), this expansion of the reach of the country’s leading tabloid newspaper is not expected to give rise to any serious objections.





This article has been published in IRIS Legal Observations of the European Audiovisual Observatory.