SRG welcomes the rejection of the halving initiative by the Federal Council

26th June 2024
The Federal Council today forwarded the message on the halving initiative to Parliament. SRG welcomes the confirmation of the Federal Council’s decision made in November 2023 to reject the halving initiative. Acceptance would have far-reaching effects on the SRG’s journalistic offering, programs and regional anchoring. At the same time, as a countermeasure, the Federal Council has decided to gradually reduce the media tax for households to 300 francs by 2029 and to exempt other companies from the media tax.
The offices of SRG SSR in Bern. Credit: SRG SSR

This press release was originally published by SRG SSR.

The SRG welcomes the Federal Council’s clear stance against the halving initiative. And after “No Billag” it is once again prepared to demonstrate the value it brings to society with its audiovisual public service. Acceptance of the halving initiative would roughly halve the SRG’s financial resources. With such a greatly reduced budget, the SRG would no longer be able to finance itself in its current decentralized structure and the diversity of its offerings. This would be a hard blow for the Swiss film, music, culture and sports industries.

Read more: SRG SSR warns of significant cuts if levy reductions pass

Reduction of the media tax as a countermeasure

As a countermeasure to the halving initiative, the Federal Council has adopted a partial revision of the Radio and Television Ordinance (RTVV). As announced in November 2023, the household fee will be reduced from the current CHF 335 to CHF 300 per year in two stages by 2029. Companies with an annual turnover of up to CHF 1.2 million will be exempt from the fee in 2027.

The SRG takes note of the Federal Council’s decision. It commented on it in detail during the consultation process in November 2023 (see SRG media release of November 20, 2023 ).

It will now analyse the effects of this decision in detail and initiate the necessary measures. The SRG is thus at the beginning of a long-term process. The household fee will be reduced for the first time in 2027. The exemption of the two additional tariff levels for companies will also take place at this time. One thing is clear: the SRG will do everything within its financial means to continue to guarantee a diverse and high-quality public service for all parts of the country. Parliament will next discuss the halving initiative.

Short-term cost-cutting measures

Due to the strained financial situation, the SRG will be implementing austerity measures in the short term – regardless of the reduction in the media tax decided by the Federal Council. The reason for this is the declining advertising revenue and inflation. The SRG will have to react to these ongoing developments as early as 2025.