Five regional TV stations fail to meet information requirements

Five regional German-speaking Swiss television stations did not broadcast enough relevant regional information last year. The Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM) has opened supervisory proceedings against two of them.

Commercial television stations that hold a license must broadcast at least 150 minutes of "relevant regional information" per week during prime time. And they are simultaneously obliged to offer ten minutes of "relevant regional information in news programs" during prime time on weekdays.

Bakom understands this to mean stories about happenings in the coverage area, about the impact of a national event on the coverage area, or with a connection to the region.

Supervisory procedure opened

Five stations in German-speaking Switzerland did not meet these requirements last year: TVO from eastern Switzerland broadcast only 138 minutes of regional information per week in prime time, and TeleBärn broadcast only 73 minutes, as Bakom announced in its newsletter on Monday. And again TeleBärn as well as Tele M1 (Aargau, Solothurn), Tele1 (Central Switzerland) and Telebasel broadcast less than ten minutes of relevant regional news per day in news programs.

Bakom opened a supervisory procedure against the two stations that did not meet the 150-minute requirement, it said in response to a request from the Keystone-SDA news agency. Those responsible could now comment before Bakom issues an order to determine whether or not the minimum requirement has been met. Financial sanctions are not foreseen in the initial procedure, it said.

For the program analysis, Bakom 2020 examined the programs of Kanal 9, TeleBärn, Telebasel, Tele 1, Tele M1, Tele Top, TVO, TV Südostschweiz, TeleBielingue, Canal 9, Canal Alpha, La Télé, Léman Bleu and TeleTicino by means of random samples during two weeks. It analyzed a total of 1050 hours of programming.

More information in French-speaking Switzerland

The average proportion of information content was 71 percent of the programs broadcast by all 14 licensed regional television stations. It was highest at Léman Bleu with 89 percent and Tele Ticino with 82 percent, and lowest at Telebasel with 62 percent. In French-speaking Switzerland, the proportion of information was ten percent higher than in German-speaking Switzerland.

For example, Léman Bleu produced 19 hours of information content in a week, four times more than Telebasel's 4 hours. And the Geneva station also topped the rankings in the proportion of relevant topics, with 98 percent. On TeleBärn, only 72 percent of the information output dealt with "relevant topics".

Regional anchoring

There were also clear regional differences in the geographic focus: For example, the TV stations in French-speaking Switzerland gave significantly more space to events in their own region (88 percent) than those in German-speaking Switzerland (63 percent) and Ticino (57 percent).

Léman Bleu offers its audience 14 hours and 36 minutes of regional information per week, fourteen times more than Telebärn with one hour and three minutes, it said. And the CH media stations were also "clearly below the average" of four and a half hours per week in this respect.

In terms of advertising time, on the other hand, the German-speaking Swiss stations made it to the front: They broadcast almost twice as much advertising as their French-speaking Swiss counterparts. The CH Media stations (TeleBärn, Tele 1, Tele M1 and TVO) were particularly successful here, writes Bakom. These stations also gave "human interest or bad news" an "above-average amount of space". (SDA)


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