Südwestrundfunk (SWR)
Type Broadcast radio, television and online
Country Germany
Availability National
Headquarters Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Launch date
1 January 1998 (1998-01-01)
Official website
Replaced SDR and SWF

Südwestrundfunk (SWR, "Southwest Broadcasting") is a regional public broadcasting corporation serving the southwest of Germany, specifically the federal states of Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate. The corporation has main offices in three cities: Stuttgart, Baden-Baden and Mainz, with the director's office being in Stuttgart. It is a part of the ARD consortium. It broadcasts on two television channels and six radio channels, with its main television and radio office in Baden-Baden and regional offices in Stuttgart and Mainz. It is (after WDR) the second largest broadcasting organization in Germany. SWR, with a coverage of 55,600 km2, and an audience reach estimated to be 14.7 million. SWR employs 3,700 people in its various offices and facilities.


SWR was established in 1998 through the merger of Süddeutscher Rundfunk (SDR, Southern German Broadcasting), formerly headquartered in Stuttgart, and Südwestfunk (SWF, South West Radio), formerly headquartered in Baden-Baden. The existence of two public broadcasting corporations in southwest Germany was a legacy of the Allied occupation of Germany after the Second World War. The French Military Government established SWF as the sole public broadcaster in their occupation zone. This area was later divided into the states of South Baden, Württemberg-Hohenzollern and Rhineland-Palatinate. The American Military Government established SDR in Württemberg-Baden. When Baden, Württemberg-Hohenzollern and Württemberg-Baden merged to form Baden-Württemberg in 1952, the corporations were not merged, although SDR and SWF operated several joint services.

The two corporations had intended to merge in 1990, but the merger was pushed back by the reunification process.


Licensing fees required for radio and TV sets are €17.50 per month, as of 1 April 2015. From this fee, the SWR gets €8.32 directly. These fees are not collected directly by the SWR but by the Beitragsservice von ARD, ZDF und Deutschlandradio that is a common organisation of ARD, its members, ZDF and Deutschlandfunk.

Studios and offices

Headquarters in Stuttgart
SWR buildings in Baden-Baden

SWR operates studios in the following cities:

Regional offices of the SWR are located in:

In Baden-Württemberg there are also "Korrespondentenbüros" (roughly: "correspondence offices") for the SWR in Aalen, Albstadt-Ebingen, Biberach, Buchen, Konstanz, Mosbach, Pforzheim, Ravensburg, Schwäbisch Hall, Tauberbischofsheim and Waldshut-Tiengen.


SWR provides programs to various TV and radio networks, some done in collaboration with other broadcasters, and others completely independently.

Television channels

Radio channels

SWR operates six radio channels on FM and DAB, all of which are also streamed on the internet.


SWR was established on 1 January 1998 and the new corporation began broadcasting on 1 September 1998. Its predecessor organizations, SDR and SWF, were formally dissolved at 24.00 on 30 September 1998, SWR legally succeeding them with effect from 0.00 on 1 October 1998.

Channel mergers and changes with effect from 1 September 1998:

A radio news channel, SWR cont.ra, was added in July 2002. This was relaunched with a new programme format on 9 January 2012 as SWRinfo.


Since 1998, the managing director of SWR has been Prof. Peter Voss, who was previously the managing director of SWF. The managing director's office is located in Stuttgart. Seven other directors serve under him (locations of their offices in parentheses):

Transmitter locations

At present, there is a new TV tower at Waldenburg under construction, which should replacer in 2008 old TV tower Waldenburg.

Orchestras and Choruses

SWR operates the following musical organizations:

Responsibilities within the ARD

Within the ARD, SWR is responsible for the coordination of the joint network programming on the networks 3sat and arte as well as the main Internet site for the ARD, ARD.de. The offices for ARTE Deutschland TV GmbH are in Baden-Baden, and the offices for ARD.de are in Mainz.
SWR is also responsible for some of the foreign studios operated on behalf of the ARD:

Subsidiaries of SWR

The following companies are subsidiaries of SWR-Holding GmbH:

See also

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