De Weck reaffirms will to cooperate

SRG wants to work even more closely with all media in the future. According to SRG Director General Roger de Weck, forward-looking models are already working in French-speaking Switzerland and are the subject of negotiations in German-speaking Switzerland.


Discussions are currently taking place with associations in the television and radio industry and with Swiss-German media. Thanks to cooperation, costs can be reduced for everyone and, in the best case, revenues can be increased, de Weck said at a media meeting in Bern on Tuesday. There is currently contact with the Swiss Media Association, which represents the interests of the private media, but no negotiations yet. However, he said, he was confident that this would happen. In recent months, a dispute between the private publishers and the SRG had ignited over the definition of public service.

More funds for all

de Weck sees possible cooperation in three areas: joint marketing of advertising, selective exchange of content, and joint use of the digital infrastructure. Such cooperation would leave more money in the coffers of all media companies. This money could be reinvested in journalism. However, SRG could not make its offerings available to other media houses free of charge in the sense of open source. De Weck pointed out that copyrights in sports, films and series, and music, for example, make free offers impossible. In addition, in the case of open source, the content would also have to be provided free of charge to Netflix or to commercial German broadcasters.

Blur boundaries

The SRG is prohibited from many forms of online advertising. In this context, De Weck pointed out that the boundaries between traditional broadcasting and broadband Internet are becoming increasingly blurred. A clear demarcation under media law is becoming increasingly difficult. De Weck reiterated the proposal submitted by the SRG to the Federal Media Commission to introduce a threshold for the SRG's advertising volume. If the threshold were exceeded, a considerable portion of this money could be used for indirect press promotion or for the sda news agency.

Tight financial dress

When asked how SRG fees and advertising revenues will develop in the coming years, de Weck was realistic. These revenues are likely to decrease. Accordingly, the financial situation is tight. De Weck recalled that SRG is currently cutting 250 jobs. But he did not want to complain. Relatively speaking, SRG is doing well. According to Gilles Marchand, Director of Westschweizer Radio und Fernsehen, and Ladina Heimgartner, Director of Rhaeto-Romanic Radio und Fernsehen, SRG must be present on all distribution channels in the future, on TV, smart TV, radio, the Internet and social media. It has to be where its customers are. A costly trend for TV providers is that audiences skip advertising when they watch TV at a later time. According to a study, the Swiss media will lose around 130 million Swiss francs a year as a result. However, Marchand and de Weck are convinced that linear television is not dead. On the contrary, its reach has recently increased slightly again, they say. (SDA)

Image: OBS/SRG SSR/Danielle Liniger

More articles on the topic