Legal Analysis of the Financing of public service broadcasting and media funding

Main Research Area:

There is a lot of talk about the challenges posed by the digitalisation of the media. However, this does not mean that radio and television are no longer important. On the contrary, the question of the financial resources and mission of public service media is perhaps even more pressing in view of the competition. For this reason, it is important to consider how public service broadcasting organisations are financed and what their mission is.

These questions are answered by comparing the legal situation of Liechtenstein’s public radio (Liechtensteinischer Rundfunk LRF) and the public broadcasters in Switzerland, Austria and Germany. Because every medium can make an important contribution to media diversity, especially in a microstate like Liechtenstein, the legal structure of media funding in Liechtenstein will also be analysed.

The publication “Liechtenstein im Europäischen Verfassungsverbund”, published in 2022, contains a chapter on the media. It examines whether the requirements under international and European law regarding disclosure obligations and the fair allocation of funds to the private media are respected in Liechtenstein.

The publication LI Focus 1/2023 from August 2023 primarily focuses on the requirements of the Council of Europe and the EU (or for Liechtenstein: the EEA). It also highlights the differences between Liechtenstein’s public radio and the private media in Liechtenstein, which are owned by private companies but – provided they fulfil the requirements – can benefit from state media funding.

Since the beginning of April 2024, the e-book “Die Finanzierung des öffentlich-rechtlichen Rundfunks” (Financing public broadcasting) has provided a comprehensive analysis of the legal requirements for the financing of public radio and television broadcasters in the four German-speaking countries and media funding in Liechtenstein.

Project duration: 2022–2024