With operating expenses of CHF 1.46 billion, the company recorded around CHF 31 million less advertising revenue last year, a good CHF 2 million less income from sponsorship and around CHF 19 million less programming revenue, SRG announced on Tuesday. In the programming division, around CHF 7 million was attributable to cancelled sports productions.
According to SRG, around half of the fall in advertising revenues was due to the Corona pandemic. Advertising orders had plummeted from March 2020 due to the pandemic measures imposed by the authorities. However, the situation had improved in the second half of the year due to high viewing figures for TV programmes.
SRG attributes the other half of the decline to the trend towards digital use. This resulted in a shift of advertising budgets to digital, mostly global offerings.
The pandemic had both a positive and a negative impact on SRG's business result. On the one hand, the procurement of hygiene masks and disinfectants as well as further Corona measures for in-house productions led to additional costs. On the other hand, SRG saved costs due to the cancellation of cultural and sporting events.
Record reach for Corona broadcasts
SRG adjusted its programming because of the Corona pandemic. More programmes were shown for children and young people and for senior citizens. In addition, the daily special broadcasts on the development of the Corona situation led to record ratings.
SRG describes the launch of the "Play Suisse" streaming platform as one of the highlights of the financial year (Werbewoche.ch reported). In-house and co-produced films, series and documentaries can be watched free of charge on this platform. According to SRG, 250,000 people have registered on Play Suisse so far.
113 jobs cut
2020, SRG continued to press ahead with its restructuring. The goal is to consistently reduce costs in order to compensate for the continued decline in advertising and sponsorship revenues, SRG said. Last year, 113 jobs were cut. Where possible, vacant positions were not refilled, SRG said. As a result, the company currently employs 5537 full-time staff.
Following the CHF 100 million savings programme launched in 2018 and completed in 2020, SRG decided on a further CHF 50 million savings programme in October 2020. This is to be implemented by 2024. (SDA)