ARD-alpha bietet sein Fernsehprogramm als durchgehenden Livestream an. Aus lizenzrechtlichen Gründen ist dieser Livestream mit einem sogenannten Geoblocking versehen und kann nur in Deutschland gesehen werden. Trotzdem müssen wir aus rechtlichen Gründen einige Sendungen davon ausnehmen.
ARD-alpha broadcasts educational programs including; science, religion, music, philosophy, literature, language learning, art, and culture.
BR-alpha, as the station was originally called, started broadcasting on January 7, 1998. The station's programs were originally broadcast in analog using the Astra satellite and were also distributed by cable networks. The schedule focused mainly on education and information. The channel began digital broadcasts via Astra in the summer of 1998. On 28 November 2000, the heads of the regional public broadcasters agreed to start cooperating with BR-alpha.
On 30 September 2002, the channel started broadcasting Planet Wissen ("Planet Knowledge" in English), a general knowledge program and a co-production of BR-alpha, Westdeutscher Rundfunk, and Südwestrundfunk. The program also has an extensive internet presence. Bavaria started digital terrestrial television broadcasts on 30 May 2005, as did BR-alpha.
The channels scheduled were revamped on 16 February 2008. Career guidance programs, a magazine aimed at young people called freiraum were started and programs W wie Wissen and Faszination Wissen was also added.
On 9 August 2009, the youth program on3-südwild switched from Bavarian Television to BR-alpha. On 27 June 2010, Andreas Höfer won the Deutschen Kamerapreis (German Camera Award) in the category TV movie /docudrama for the BR-alpha film Empathy – Stumme Schreie (Empathy - Silent screams).
ARD-alpha (since 2014)
The channel was renamed ARD-alpha on 29 June 2014. The schedule was reorganized the previous day. BR is still responsible for financing and broadcasting the channel, but some programs originally broadcast by other ARD member stations were added to ARD-alpha's schedule.
Cooperation with ORF (the Austrian public broadcaster) in the form of alpha-Österreich continued and its television programs are now aired after 10 pm instead of in the early evening. Werner Reuss is head of ARD-alpha.