No-Billag acceptance? "Then we turn out the lights and close the studios".

The new SRG Director General Gilles Marchand talks about the No Billag initiative in the current SonntagsZeitung.


If the No Billag initiative were adopted, SRG would have "a few months to stop its activities, stop producing broadcasts and stop reinvesting in culture, music and sports," Marchand says. "Then we'll turn out the lights and close the studios." In addition, "thousands of jobs" would disappear, he is convinced. The new SRG boss recalls that 34 subsidized private radio and TV stations would also "suddenly find themselves in almost the same situation," as they would have broadly the same structure as SRG.

Marchand assumes that there would be no plan B in the event of acceptance and that SRG would find itself in a critical situation shortly thereafter. This is because the immediate elimination of fees would also have an effect on advertising customers, who would not want to invest in abolished stations - and suppliers, who would demand advance payments.

Using the example of sports, which Marchand sees as a unifying element for the country that transcends language barriers, the SRG boss shows how difficult it would be to do without services if the SRG mandate were to be concretized by parliament. As a generalist, SRG must address all audience groups - including minorities.

SRG is fighting for sports broadcasting rights: "The new players who want to buy these rights are making it more and more difficult." With its commitment to sports, SRG also helps ensure that events take place in Switzerland and exist at all - Marchand cites the Tour de Romandie as an example. "We are fighting to maintain a certain dynamic in each region - both culturally and in terms of sports or business. The question is therefore what we produce, co-produce, what we buy in and what weight we give to the different types of programming." (hae)

Photo: RTS

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