As of today, the No Billag initiative would be accepted. This is the result of a survey conducted by the market research company Marketagent.com - which is also responsible for the Impact Check of Werbewoche - and published by the SonntagsZeitung.
According to the survey, 57 percent would agree to the abolition of TV and radio licence fees at the current time. Only 34 percent are against and 8 percent are still undecided.
It is clear that the argument that acceptance of the initiative would mean the end of SRG does not seem to hold water - 60 percent of respondents do not believe this. 46 percent assume that even after acceptance, major national and independent radio and television stations would still be offered. Apparently, many voters assume that not much would change - apart from the disappearance of the Billag bill.
This attitude probably also explains how another result of the survey can be possible: Just under 55 percent of respondents are fully or mostly satisfied with the SRF offering. Only 33 percent are completely or partially dissatisfied.
The reason given for the 57 percent in favour is that the opponents of the initiative were "caught off guard" by the early campaign in favour and that the entire counter-campaign has so far been left to the SRG. The efforts of the SRG are seen by critics as rather counterproductive.
When the counter-campaign is launched - which is not planned until the new year - the lead usually melts away. From this point of view, it is rather small at 57 percent at this early stage.
Kaiser would invest even more in fiction
Nevertheless, an acceptance is also seen as a realistic scenario in many places. For example, 3+ station boss Dominik Kaiser can certainly imagine the end of SRG - and would be prepared to step into the breach in individual areas.
They would be "even quicker to invest even more money in additional Swiss programme content", he tells Schweiz am Wochenende. Namely in "serial fiction and further entertainment formats". Kaiser justifies the lack of interest in SRF's successful formats such as "Reporter", "Dok" or "Arena" by saying that the channel has positioned itself as an entertainment channel for a young audience.
But Kaiser is investing in fiction production anyway. The one in the advertising week announced plan to produce its own series will be put into action in 2018 - regardless of the outcome of the No Billag initiative. A crime series is to be launched in autumn, in which a pair of investigators solve cases in the mountains.
The SRG critic wants to compete with SRF for the crime thriller evening. SRF successfully manages this area with the audience hit "Der Bestatter" and more recently with "Wilder". (hae)