From state-run German TV, they sit and discuss a lot of things. But the one thing they never seem to discuss....is the idea that the TV-media Tax might one day cease being mandatory. It is noticeable after a while. They rarely discuss the matter of the tax at all.....usually if it's going up or down....there's some 20-second piece on the nightly news in Germany, but otherwise, it's never talked talked about.
The odds of it ever ending? A couple of years ago....it was a 99-percent of continuing on forever. Today, I'd say we are nearing a fifty-fifty point on the TV-media Tax ending as a mandatory thing. It'll be a court process, where they go and order the Bundestag to write some code or law into effect that would allow for a process to occur. You can figure this to be a 12-to-18 month period for the Bundestag, and the current tax continue.....as is.
After the re-write of the law....my humble guess is that it'd basically note a two-year period of which the TV media unit (Channel One, Two, and the rest) would then be on their own....or rely upon state sponsorship.
Advertising would be necessary, and the various units of state-run TV (the twenty-odd channels) would face some rapid downsizing.
State or regional sub-stations would likely continue on, with individual states sponsoring them to some degree.
Radio stations would drift toward advertising, but half the transmitters in the country would disappear within five years. Some university operations would take up the running of the cultural radio programming or news efforts.
Then, we'd come to state-run Channel One (ARD) and Channel Two (ZDF). Both will try to survive for a period of time, and I think one would eventually admit that there simply wasn't enough money around for both. Sports would become some bread-and-butter operation for their survival.
Somewhere in the mixture of this mess.....we'd come to discover that the salary structure and retirement pensions for state-run TV.....was ridiculous. The Bundestag will probably have to step in and provide some funding to cover pensions.
The 17.50 Euro a month that we each pay? After a while, people will admit that it's not really a large amount of money yearly that we paid. But the chief item of frustration will go back to a lack of oversight and no understanding by the networks over their responsibility or choice of programming.
In a way, state-run TV is utterly dependent upon the German court system to continually face down challenges and restate the necessity of the continual TV-media Tax. Without the court, the system falls apart. It's impossible for the public to have some change impacted upon the structure.....because of the governing board that the government appoints as the true managers of state-run TV. It is an awkward apparatus.....built in a way.....to keep the public out of their business.