Austria, unlike the United States, has a strong public broadcasting organization: the Österreichischer Rundfunk (ORF). Consisting of four channels, it takes up around 32.9% of the market in Austria. This large market share percentage is partly due to the fact Austria only allowed private broadcasting in 2003. The ORF has one regional studio in each state so our Understanding Austria class was able to take a tour of the one in Salzburg.
Though a full studio, there is only one television show produced here, the Salzburg Heute (Salzburg Today). This has led many Austrians to see how the ORF operates as being inefficient.
The ORF is currently in the middle of modernizing; we were lucky to see the old control panel and learn how it worked. A fun fact we learned was why there were a number of coins on the panel; in the past, you would have to pay to add special effects.
In order to be more integrated with the community, the ORF has a stage that can be rented for community events along with a recording studio anyone can use. If traditional Austrian artists wish to use it and can not afford the usual fees, the ORF will help subsidize them. This is also where the election debates are held.
Finally, the ORF has a number of radio stations. The announcers must time everything out to fit with certain transmissions from Vienna.