Saarländischer Rundfunk (SR), based in Saarbrücken, is the broadcasting company of the Saarland and joined the ARD in 1959. Given its expertise in all things French, great number of joint ventures with partners in the greater SaarLorLux region and many France-related contents across all programmes, it is regarded as the most French amongst the ARD’s channels.
It is responsible for five radio programmes, including the AntenneSaar information channel with a Franco-German emphasis, provided in cooperation with Radio France Internationale (RFI), MDR Aktuell, SWRinfo and the ARD/ZDF event channel “Phoenix”.
“SR television – My Saarland” – runs the claim of SR television, clearly outlining the content focus: TV from the Saarland and for the Saarland. Just under a third of the programme coproduced by SR and Südwestrundfunk (SWR) comes from the broadcasting studios in Saarbrücken. SR and SWR split from the shared television programme for their respective regional services daily from 6 to 8 p.m.
SR is involved in the joint ARD channel DAS ERSTE and the other joint television channels ARTE, 3sat, KiKa and Phoenix, as well as the two digital ARD channels. Its radio and television programmes are supplemented by the regional SAARTEXT video text and SR.de website. Together with SWR, SR also maintains the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie (DRP) radio orchestra.
Saarländischer Rundfunk transports regional, federal and international themes to the Saarland and exports Saarland themes beyond its borders. The geographic proximity to France and Luxembourg and historical background of the Saarland play an important role for this. The SR occupies a special place as a mediator between France and Germany in the Federal Republic as well as the ARD. Amongst other functions, the SR chairs the Franco-German Radio Commission. In 1983, the SR established the Franco-German Journalism Prize, later converted into a charitable association in 2015. Besides the leading Saarländischer Rundfunk, this highly endowed award is sponsored by 17 other partners from three Länder as association members. It is also active in many areas beyond the Franco-German border. Six prominent examples for border-crossing activities:
- Regular cooperation with Radio France Internationale, France Musique and France Culture
- Via its UNSERDING youth channel, the SR is the exclusive German media partner of the largest French rock festival, “Les Eurockéennes de Belfort”
- SR 2 KulturRadio organizes “Primeurs – Festival of Contemporary Francophone Drama” in cooperation with “Le Carreau – Scène nationale de Forbach et de l’Est mosellan”, the Institut Français and Saarländisches Staatstheater
- “AntenneSaar”, the SR’s Franco-German radio information channel is produced in cooperation with MDR Aktuell, SWRinfo, Radio France Internationale and Phoenix.
- The Saarländischer Rundfunk has been reporting from the Tour de France since the early 50s, and is responsible for managing this major sports event within the ARD.
- In mid-2016, the Saarländischer Rundfunk started the internet platform “Vis-à-vis – Click to the Neighbour” with a cross-border focus.
- The SR established a “France pool” in the beginning of 2016, aimed at improving the networking of reporters to optimize the cross-media reporting from/about France.