Public broadcaster to receive more government support

The SBC produces 24 radio and television programmes in the national languages. Keystone/Anthony Anex

The government has decided to boost its financial contribution to the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC), private radio and television as well as the main Swiss news agency.

This content was published on April 17, 2020 - 12:00
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The SBC, swissinfo.ch’s parent company, is to receive an additional CHF50 million ($51.7 million) from revenue mainly taken in by the licence fee paid by every Swiss household as well as by companies with an annual turnover of less than CHF500,000.

Annual government support for the SBC will now stand at CHF1.25 billion, to produce radio and television programmes in the four national languages.

The communications ministry said the funds could help soften the impact of a drop in advertisement revenue over the past years.

The news agency Keystone-SDA, a private company partly owned by the SBC, will see its government contribution doubled to CHF4 million.

In line with a pledge to review the licence fee for consumers at regular intervals, the government also decided to lower the annual fee to CHF335 from CHF365 annually.

The reduction was made possible because of the growing number of contributors, according to a ministry statement on Thursday.

In 2018, Swiss voters threw out a proposal to scrap the mandatory licence fee. The initiative was supported by right-wing and libertarian parties as well as the association of small and medium-sized businesses.

An attempt led by the SME association to thwart a change in the funding system also narrowly failed in 2015.

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