SRG Director General warns against initiative "200 francs are enough".

The Director General of the Swiss Radio and Television Company SRG, Gilles Marchand, has opened the fight against the popular initiative to halve broadcasting fees. If it is accepted, the SRG's area and budget would be cut in half.

"There would also be very significant job losses," Marchand said in an interview with the French-language newspaper Le Temps on Saturday. The text of the popular initiative launched by the bourgeoisie is less radical than the "No Billag" initiative, which was clearly rejected in 2018, but still proves to be "brutal and radical".

In the event of a Yes vote, SRG's budget would be cut in half, to between 700 and 750 million francs, Marchand said. That would mean SRG would have to sacrifice one of its two sites in western Switzerland, in Geneva and Lausanne. Programs, especially sports, music and feature film broadcasts, would have to be severely curtailed.

The initiative launched last year by the SVP, the Swiss Trade Association SGV and the Young FDP wants to reduce serafe fees for radio and television from CHF 335 to CHF 200 per year. In addition to the reduction of the device-independent fees for households, the initiators demand an exemption of companies from the fees. In the distribution of the fee money, the share of private radio and television stations should remain the same.

The initiators are of the opinion that the "compulsory fee" paid by private households and companies for SRG no longer reflects media consumption in Switzerland. In addition, SRG is penetrating markets that are not directly covered by its concession. It operates radio stations in direct competition with private providers, produces programs outside the public service and is constantly expanding its online offering. (SDA)

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