Arbeitsgemeinschaft der öffentlich-rechtlichen Rundfunkanstalten der Bundesrepublik Deutschland = "Working Pool of the Broadcasting Corporations of the Federal Republic of Germany".
The first and largest public German broadcasting network, which coordinates cooperation between the regional BBC-like public broadcasting corporations. The member corporations are:
Together, they operate Das Erste Deutsche Fernsehen = "First German TV", the chronologically first TV network to operate in the FRG (start: November 1st, 1954 and still the one with the biggest market share. The ARD is a cooperation partner in Phoenix (somewhat of a crossover between PBS and C-SPAN), the German children's channel Ki.Ka, and the supranational channels Arte and 3sat. DW operates several overseas services, again much like the BBC.
The individual corporations operate one regional TV network and an average of about four regional radio networks each. They are also members of another independent corporation, DeutschlandRadio, which operates Deutschlandfunk, the only nationwide public radio programme.
Note that 'corporation' here does not mean an incorporation trying to make profit. German public TV corporations are independent, public, non-commercial, fee-funded entities administered by boards of representatives of regional political and social institutions.