Rejection for second service public information offer

There is to be no second public service information service in Switzerland. The Federal Council fears a dispersal of forces among two publicly financed providers. And the influence of a second public service offering on the diversity of opinion and offerings is unclear a priori.

SRGThis is what the Federal Council wrote in its negative statement on a postulate by National Councilor Gerhard Pfister (center/ZG) published on Thursday. It would make more sense to examine the extent to which private companies could also provide the SRG's services in order to increase the leeway and keep the fee as low as possible.

The Federal Council argues that a second publicly financed information service could not be financed without a significant reduction in the existing share of the levy for the SRG and for the licensed local radio stations and regional television stations. A higher fee for radio and television would hardly be accepted politically.

The Federal Council further states that a new linear radio and TV offering would run counter to the trend toward online and social media offerings. A free online portal would also distort competition.

In the postulate, Pfister wants clarification of whether a second license could be awarded alongside the SRG for a public service mission of radio and television programs and with online contributions in the information sector. The Federal Council should comment on the feasibility of such a service and the financial consequences.

The National Council will now decide on the postulate. (SDA)

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