ERF – The broadcaster for a whole lifetime
“Good News” via radio, TV and the Internet
Wetzlar, Germany (ERF). "The broadcaster for a whole lifetime" - that’s the slogan of ERF Medien (Wetzlar). The Christian media enterprise offers programming aimed towards both the young and the old, the healthy as well as those who are ill, both Christians and non-Christians, women and men. Founded in 1959, ERF was one of the first private broadcasters in Germany to spread the gospel through the media, first via radio, and now also on TV and the internet. The 230 staff desire to implement ERF’s slogan through a wide variety of journalistic endeavours. ERF is a multifaceted German media company, providing quality content via radio, television and the Internet, all serving to help people discover and deepen faith in Jesus Christ and to live this out within their churches and society.
ERF, which is non-denominational, is financed almost solely through donations. It has an annual budget of approximately 14.5 million Euros. In 2001, a foundation was established to further financially support the ministry. ERF is the media partner of various denominations in Germany including the Lutheran Church, Evangelical Free Churches, and many others.
Since March, 2009, ERF has had its own TV and radio broadcast channel. ERF produces some of its own programmes such as “Hof mit Himmel” (Courtyard to Heaven) and “Gott sei Dank!” (Thank God!), “Wartburg-Gespräche” (Wartburg Conversations), current affairs magazines, features, documentaries, life-style magazines and talk-shows. On Sundays, worship services from various churches all over Germany are broadcast. External productions, for instance from ERF Switzerland, are also broadcast. In addition, the film “Jesus”, based on the gospel of Luke, rotating through more than 20 languages, and other foreign-language programmes are broadcast every night.
ERF 1 can be received via digital signal through the satellite ASTRA, through an increasing number of cable networks, and also on the internet (www.erf.de), and through apps on mobile phones. Selected programs from ERF are also being broadcast by other networks such as DAS VIERTE, rheinmaintv, bw family.tv and approximately 25 other regional networks. In addition, ERF 1 also provides the opportunity to listen to three different audio signals including the well-known and appreciated ERF Radio, ERF Pop and Life Channel in Swiss German. This is only one example of the cross-medial networking of programming offered by ERF Media.
ERF Media offers three radio programmes. ERF Plus offers a wide variety of programmes from Bach chorales, early morning devotionals, current affairs magazine programmes, call-in programmes, to modern Christian pop music. Over 1,000 volunteer writers contribute to the programming content. ERF Plus broadcasts around the clock via ASTRA Satellite using both analogue and digital signals and also via cable networks in Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria (Munich), southern Hessen, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Thuringia, and Saxony. Since August, 2011, ERF Plus is also available over DAB +. In addition, programmes can be heard via telephone. In addition to ERF Plus, ERF Media also produces CrossChannel.de, which is aimed towards teens and young adults from 14 to 25. (www.CrossChannel.de). Since April, 2009, ERF Pop is available via ASTRA satellite on the web, with music and content for the middle generation. All three radio programs can be received per livestream (www.erf.de) or by using various apps.
No other media has found a place in everyday life as quickly as the Internet. It is an extraordinary medium for challenging people to consider faith issues, helping people to grow in their faith, and linking Christians together. For instance, on the internet portal www.erf.de, ERF presents daily, up-to-date and true-to-life inspiration, information, and educational programmes, in addition to the livestreams mentioned above and their corresponding media centres.