Austrian Show Resistance to ORF Household Fee

A recent survey commissioned by Austrian news outlets “profil” and “Standard” has found that plans for a device-independent household fee to replace the GIS fee for the ORF (Austrian Broadcasting Corporation) are not popular among the public. The survey conducted by opinion research institute Unique-research for “profil” found that 58 percent of the population are against a household levy.

A separate survey by “Standard” found that a majority of 63 percent believe fees for the ORF are fundamentally unjustified. The survey interviewed 800 eligible voters, with 51 percent advocating financing from the federal budget if a GIS extended to streaming and a household fee were available.

The resistance to the new financing model is greatest among voters of the far-right Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ), with 83 percent of them rejecting the household levy. Among voters of the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPÖ), 52 percent are opposed to the new system. On the other hand, a majority of 58 percent of voters of the center-right Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) support the introduction of a household levy.

The discussions about ORF’s funding stem from a decision by the Austrian Constitutional Court, which requires new ORF funding from 2024, including streaming use, unlike GIS. With the ORF facing new financing challenges, it remains to be seen how the government will address the issue and whether the public will accept any new funding model proposed.