|Broadcast area|| Germany |
|Picture format|| 1080i HDTV |
(downscaled to 16:9 576i for the SDTV feed)
|Owner||ARD and ZDF|
|Launched||1 January 1997|
|Former names||Der Kinderkanal (1997–2000)|
|Digital terrestrial television||Multiplexes vary depending on location|
|Kabel Deutschland||Channel 602 (SD) |
Channel 622 (HD)
|Astra 1H (19.2°E)||11953.50 H 77 27500 3/4 (DVB-S)|
|Astra 1L (19.2°E)||11347.00 H 10 22000 2/3 (HDTV DVB-S2)|
|Telekom Entertain||Channel 10 (HD)|
|A1 TV (Austria)||Channel 29 (SD)|
KiKA (contraction of Der KinderKAnal von ARD und ZDF [The Children's Channel of ARD and ZDF]) is a German free-to-air television channel based in Erfurt, Germany. It is managed by a joint venture by public-service broadcasters ARD and ZDF. Its intended audience is children and the youth, and it is generally watched by children 3 to 13.
The channel also repeats shows, such as Tabaluga tivi from ZDF's main service.
KiKA's mascot is the puppet character Bernd das Brot, a chronically depressed loaf of bread.
The channel uses live continuity announcers. Four of the most popular announcers were Juri Tetzlaff (1997–2010), Karsten Blumenthal (1997–2004), Singa Gätgens (1997–2010), and Lukas Koch (2003-2009).
In the channel’s early years, the program consisted mostly of series and shows that were already being broadcast on ARD and ZDF. Whole programs were being broadcast simultaneously on the mother channels and the children’s channel, for example the afternoon program of ZDF. KiKa showed German as well as international series, like cartoon classics from the 1970s and 80s ( Heidi , Biene Maja , Wickie or Nils Holgersson ). Classics of children’s TV like film versions of Astrid Lindgren books or the Augsburger Puppenkiste were also regularly being broadcast.
After a time, more original broadcasts started appearing in KiKa’s program, like Schloss Einstein , The Tribe , and Teletubbies .
The all-girl popular music band Saphir was formed of the 2007-2010 winners of the talent show KI.KA LIVE — Beste Stimme gesucht! (Best Voice Wanted).
There have been some changes in the programming in recent years. Although it had been one of the channel's original aims to broadcast both animated and live-action series, the former now predominate (85%). Apart from the numerous animated series, the afternoon soap opera Schloss Einstein is currently almost the sole live-action series in KiKA's lineup during the day. There are only two other live-action shows, one of which is aired in the afternoon and the other in the evening.
The channel sometimes offers continuous rebroadcasts of series that have come to an end. Similar to the procedure of private commercial stations, these series are broadcast as double features. But most of the older series, which had been repeatedly broadcast from 1997 to 2004, are currently excluded from the lineup. The fact that ARD and ZDF no longer own the appropriate broadcasting rights partly accounts for this.
The difference between the weekday and the weekend programming keeps vanishing steadily, since many series are aired daily. Thus some series, such as Pet Alien , Being Ian , and Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks , are almost continually part of the programme.
Augsburger Puppenkiste , a rather old German television programme which had always been on the air on Saturday and Sunday mornings, ceased being broadcast on KiKA for four years but returned to the channel's lineup in April 2008. Many programmes, especially older series, such as Pan Tau , Pippi Longstocking , and Es war einmal, can be seen only on the ZDF and regional channels.
Two children's movies are aired on KiKA, on Fridays and Sundays; these are more often animated films rather than live-action films.
The channel on 8 July 2020 announced that they will participate in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest for the first time with the 2020 edition in Warsaw, Poland, the entry will be chosen in a national selection by members ARD and ZDF, it will also be written by singer-songwriter Levent Geiger, a finalist in a children's show Dein Songin 2015 and 2019.
Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen, officially abbreviated as ZDF, is a German public-service television broadcaster based in Mainz, Rhineland-Palatinate. It is run as an independent nonprofit institution, which was founded by all federal states of Germany (Bundesländer). ZDF is financed by television licence fees and advertising revenues.
ARD is a joint organisation of Germany's regional public-service broadcasters. It was founded in 1950 in West Germany to represent the common interests of the new, decentralised, post-war broadcasting services – in particular the introduction of a joint television network.
Tabaluga is a media franchise featuring a fictional green dragon, created by German rock musician Peter Maffay, children's songwriter Rolf Zuckowski and author Gregor Rottschalk. Artist Helme Heine drew the image of Tabaluga as it is currently known. The character Tabaluga was first introduced by Maffay in the musical fairy tale Tabaluga ... oder die Reise zur Vernunft in 1983. This first studio album was the step to success: within the next years some Helme Heine books, four sequel concept studio albums, two tours, a stage musical, Tabaluga und Lilli, based on the third concept album and many TV cartoons which have been broadcasting in over 100 countries round the world followed and a children's game show. Over 100 kindergartens and child care groups carry the word "Tabaluga" in their names.
Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk is the public broadcaster for the federal states of Thuringia, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt in Germany. Established in January 1991, its headquarters are in Leipzig, with regional studios in Dresden, Erfurt and Magdeburg. MDR is a member of the ARD consortium of public broadcasters in Germany.
Bayerischer Rundfunk is a public-service radio and television broadcaster, based in Munich, capital city of the Free State of Bavaria in Germany. BR is a member organization of the ARD consortium of public broadcasters in Germany.
Television in Germany began in Berlin on 22 March 1935, broadcasting for 90 minutes three times a week. It was the first public television station in the world, named Fernsehsender Paul Nipkow. The German television market had approximately 36.5 million television households in 2000, making it the largest television market in Europe. Nowadays, 95% of German households have at least one television receiver. All the main German TV channels are free-to-air.
Bernd das Brot is a puppet character, star mascot and cult figure of the German children's television channel KI.KA, currently featured in the programs Bernd das Brot, Bravo Bernd, and the KI.KA late night loop program.
Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg is an institution under public law for the German states of Berlin and Brandenburg, based in Berlin and Potsdam. RBB was established on 1 May 2003 through the merger of Sender Freies Berlin (SFB) and Ostdeutscher Rundfunk Brandenburg (ORB), based in Potsdam, and is a member of the Association of PSBs in the Federal Republic of Germany (ARD).
Saarländischer Rundfunk is a public radio and television broadcaster serving the German state of Saarland. With headquarters in the Halberg Broadcasting House in Saarbrücken, SR is a member of the ARD consortium of German public-broadcasting organizations.
Ostdeutscher Rundfunk Brandenburg, based in Potsdam, was the public broadcaster for the German federal state of Brandenburg from 12 October 1991 until 30 April 2003. It was a member organization of the consortium of public-law broadcasting organizations in Germany, ARD.
The Augsburger Puppenkiste is a marionette theater in Augsburg, Germany.
Die Muminfamilie was a West German television series released from 1959 to 1960 that was based on the Moomin books by Tove Jansson. It was filmed in black and white and broadcast by ARD. It was notably the first television series ever to be made based on the books. It was also the first TV-series produced by Augsburger Puppenkiste. In all, 12 episodes were made.
Schloss Einstein is a long-running, popular German television series which is designed as a teenage soap opera. It portrays the lives of teenagers in Schloss Einstein, a fictional boarding school. The intended audience is 10- to 14-year-olds.
Ernst-Marcus Thomas is a German actor, TV host, radio DJ and writer. He is currently the host of The Afternoon Show on WDR 4 in Germany. For the past 20 years, Thomas has been a host for many live programs in Germany and Switzerland, including the national entertainment show, ZDF Fernsehgarten, and the daily cooking show, ARD Buffet, which aired on Germany's national TV channel, ARD.
ZDFinfo is a German free-to-air television channel owned by ZDF. It was launched on 27 August 1997 as ZDFinfokanal, and later rebranded as ZDFinfo on 5 September 2011. On 1 May 2012, a high-definition simulcast the channel was launched.
ZDFkultur was a German free-to-air television channel owned by ZDF. It was launched on 7 May 2011, replacing ZDF theaterkanal. It mainly broadcast music shows, such as Later... with Jools Holland, pop concerts and series from the ZDF archive, but also movies and theatre plays. On 1 May 2012, a high-definition simulcast was launched on satellite. On 22 February 2013, ZDF director Thomas Bellut announced that ZDFkultur would close in the near future, due to cost-saving measures at ZDF. The channel council agreed Bellut's proposal on 8 March 2013. The programming after the closure announcement consisting mostly of old ZDF archive content from the 1970s and 80s, with an annual budget of around €2 million. The channel was finally closed down on 30 September 2016.
Germany has never participated in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, but on 8 July 2020, it was announced that Germany will debut at the 2020 contest in Warsaw, Poland. KiKa, the children's channel jointly owned by European Broadcasting Union (EBU) members ARD and ZDF, selected Susan Oseloff as the first representative of Germany. Her song, “Stronger with You”, was written by singer-songwriter Levent Geiger, a finalist in the German children's show Dein Song in 2015 and 2019.
The Kiddy Contest is a televised singing competition for children from 8 to 14 years, broadcast and organized annually by the Austrian broadcaster ORF from 1995 to 2011. It was also broadcast in Germany by ZDF and RTL. Since 2012, this show is airing by the Austrian commercial broadcaster Puls 4. The format was invented by the music producer Erwin Kiennast and Norman Weichselbaum.
Singa Gätgens is a German Actor and TV host. She was the first host at the launch of the KiKa children's TV channel.
Oliver Gottwald is a German singer, guitarist and songwriter. He was the frontman of Anajo, but is now pursuing a solo career.