Licence fee to continue for SRG SSR

Swiss public-service broadcaster SRG SSR will continue to be supported by the public purse following a referendum in the country.

The so-called ‘No Billag’ initiative – referring to the Billag company, which collects the licence fee from viewers – was rejected by 71.6 per cent of the voters.

SRG SSR is a major sports broadcaster in the country, with rights to properties such as football’s Uefa Champions League.

The broadcaster’s director general, Gilles Marchand, said SRG SSR understood it had “an obligation to keep in closer contact with our target audiences and to change accordingly”.

SRG SSR chairman Jean-Michel Cina added: “It’s a good day for everyone who believes it is important to have an independent, balanced news service in all four linguistic regions, and that it is important to produce our own Swiss films, support local music and bring Swiss sporting events into people’s living rooms.”

The licence fee is used to support 34 television and radio stations in Switzerland.