@homeedders Thanks for asking! Well, it not actually a company, just like the BBC is not. Yet that's probably the best comparison. Look at the budget:

They get it from coerced "contributions".

Yes, that does sound just like the BBC. I didn't realise Britain wasn't the only country with a TV license.

ARD (broadcaster)
ARD (German pronunciation: [ˌʔaː.ʔɛɐ̯.ˈdeː]; full name: Arbeitsgemeinschaft der öffentlich-rechtlichen Rundfunkanstalten der Bundesrepublik Deutschland – Working group of public broadcasters of the Federal Republic of Germany) 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.
The ARD has a budget of €6.9 billion and 22,612 employees. The budget comes primarily from a licence fee which every household, company and public institution are required by law to pay.