Council of States does not want premature discontinuation of FM radio

The broadcasting of radio programs via FM is to be switched off only when the more modern alternatives have a market share of around 90 percent. The Council of States wants to set this threshold.

UKW-RadioOn Tuesday, the small chamber approved a motion to this effect by Ruedi Noser (FDP/ZH) without opposition. The motion, with which the Federal Council also agrees, now goes to the National Council.

Since January 1, 2020, the broadcasting of radio programs via FM transmitters has been voluntary. The radio stations are therefore free to abandon the use of their FM transmitters, either jointly or individually, ahead of schedule, i.e. before the radio licenses expire at the end of 2024.

The development of radio usage habits has been surveyed by the GfK research institute since fall 2015. According to the latest figures available, 12 percent of the audience listen to their radio programs exclusively via FM. 88 percent use digital radio reception, i.e. via DAB+, radio via TV networks and/or the internet. The required threshold has therefore already almost been reached.

Last year, 42 of 44 Swiss radio broadcasters and the SRG initially agreed on an early and staggered shutdown of FM stations: August 2022 for SRG and January 2023 for private broadcasters. This summer, after protests, the industry announced that FM would not be discontinued until the end of 2024. ( reported). This should especially please drivers of older vehicle models. (SDA)

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