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Arte always scores very well in surveys that focus on the popularity of TV channels. And yet there is a small problem: despite the quality and a market share that has increased by almost 60 percent over the past seven years, the German-French broadcaster based in Strasbourg only has a market share of 1.2 percent in Germany. Occasionally there is talk of “niche channels”.

The responsible persons do not hear this term gladly. And that is why the station’s president, Peter Boudgoust, who is also director of SWR, and programme director Bernd Mütter mention two reports that are intended to prove how relevant Arte’s programme is.

Germany and France are no longer enough for Arte

One led to the Vice-President of the European Parliament, Ryszard Czarnecki, losing his beautiful post. In the Arte report, Polish MEP Roza Thun criticised judicial reform in her home country. Czarnecki, who is a member of the right-wing populist governing party PiS, then reviled her as a Nazi collaborator. He was then unacceptable as vice-president of parliament.

The other report dealt with Catalonia, which was striving for independence. In Spain the play was called up unusually frequently. Germany and France alone are no longer enough for Arte. Another aspect of the new Arte is the increased digital distribution of the programme.

EU supports Arte with 1.6 million euros

On the net, the station is growing much faster than on television. According to programme director Mütter, the number of monthly video views has recently increased by an impressive 66 percent to currently 40 million within a year.

In the Arte Europe programme, both aspects – Europeanisation and digitalisation – coincide in an ideal way. According to Boudgoust, the European Parliament has provided the channel with an annual sum of “1.6 million to two million euros” to subtitle its already bilingual programme in English, Polish, Spanish and, since last Friday, Italian. A total of 500 program hours with subtitles in these four languages will be available on the Internet.