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Broadcasting company gets hefty fine

The Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC), swissinfo's parent company, has been fined for illegally advertising one of its sponsors.

The Federal administrative court in Bern found on Monday that German-language television had broken the law in a 2006 travel programme and in its weather forecasts in 2007, both of which were sponsored by the Touring Club of Switzerland (TCS) motoring organisation.

The programmes used slogans to advertise the TCS. The Federal Communications Office, which oversees broadcasting in Switzerland, had already imposed a fine of SFr341,000 ($294,000) on the SBC for breaching the rules on sponsorship and advertising.

The fine is equivalent to 28 per cent of the income from the TCS sponsorship.

The administrative court has now confirmed the fine. The SBC has the option of taking the case to the Federal court, Switzerland's highest court of appeal.

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