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Swiss radio and television company

legal form society
founding 1931
Seat Bern , SwitzerlandSwitzerlandSwitzerland 
Number of employees 5,983 (2016)
sales 1.64 billion CHF (2016)
Branch Mass media

Logo until December 31, 2010

The SRG ( Swiss Radio and Television Company ) or SSR ( French S ociété s uisse de r adiodiffusion et télévision , Italian S ocietà s vizzera di r adiotelevisione , Romansh S ocietad s vizra da r adio e televisiun ) is an association based in Bern and owner of the largest company for electronic media in Switzerland. Your offer is mainly related to Switzerland. The SRG operates under a federal license that entrusts it with extensive tasks in the service of the general public ( public service ). It is also a member of the European Broadcasting Union .

Organization and structure of the company

SRG SSR as an association of associations and cooperatives

The association forms the sponsorship of SRG SSR. It works as a bridge between the public and the company. Its members have an influence on SRG SSR like the shareholders of a stock corporation.

SRG SSR consists of four regional companies , which are divided into individual member companies in German- and French-speaking Switzerland . These member societies can also be divided into sections. The regional companies of SRG SSR are:


SRG Deutschschweiz: Radio and television company for German and Romansh Switzerland

  • SRG Zurich Schaffhausen (Zurich Radio and Television Cooperative)
    • Section 1 (City of Zurich)
    • Section 2 (Limmattal / left bank / Knonaueramt)
    • Section 3 (right bank / Zurich Oberland)
    • Section 4 (Schaffhausen / Zurich Unterland / Winterthur)
  • SRG Bern Freiburg Wallis (Radio and TV Cooperative Bern, German Friborg, Upper Valais)
    • SRG Freiburg (radio and television company Deutschfreiburg)
    • SRG Wallis (radio and television company Upper Valais)
  • SRG Region Basel (Radio and TV Cooperative Basel)
  • SRG Ostschweiz (Eastern Swiss radio and television company)
  • SRG Zentralschweiz (Central Swiss radio and television company)
    • SRG Uri
    • SRG Schwyz
    • SRG Obwalden
    • SRG Nidwalden
    • SRG Lucerne
    • SRG Zug
  • SRG Aargau Solothurn (radio and television company Aargau / Solothurn)


Société de radiodiffusion et de télévision de la Suisse romande

  • SSR Berne (Radio-Télévision Suisse Romande SRT)
  • SSR Friborg (Radio-Télévision Suisse Romande SRT)
  • SSR Genève (Radio-Télévision Suisse Romande SRT)
  • SSR Jura (Radio-Télévision Suisse Romande SRT)
  • SSR Neuchâtel (Radio-Télévision Suisse Romande SRT)
  • SSR Valais (Radio-Télévision Suisse Romande SRT)
  • SSR Vaud (Radio-Télévision Suisse Romande SRT)


Società cooperativa per la radiotelevisione nella Svizzera italiana


SRG SSR Svizra Rumantscha

The organs of society at national level are:

  • the assembly of delegates chaired by the President of SRG SSR
  • the board of directors
  • the general manager
  • The Executive

In the individual language regions, the regional councils and their regional boards correspond to the assembly of delegates and the administrative board. Other organs are the public councils and the ombudsman offices they have elected.

The Federal Office of Communications checks whether the SRG or its broadcasting companies comply with the provisions of the law, license and the relevant international conventions. In addition, the following bodies are responsible for assessing broadcasts and handling complaints and complaints:

  • Audience councils: They are the interface between program creators and the audience. As representatives of various sections of the population, the members assess the journalistic performance. For those responsible for the program, they are important discussion partners. In their reports they record their observations and assessments, make specific suggestions for improvement and inform the public. The public councils have no authority to issue instructions.
  • Ombudsmen: SRG has five ombudsmen - one each for radio and television programs in the four language regions and one for Swissinfo. The ombudsman mediates between the people who submit a complaint and those responsible for the program. Since the information programs are naturally among the most watched and heavily discussed programs of the SRG, these are the most frequently affected by complaints.
  • Independent Complaints Authority (UBI): If someone does not agree with the ombudsman's assessment, the dispute can be raised with the UBI.

Around 23,000 people are involved in all regional or member companies of the SRG, which enables direct social participation. For example, in the German model of public broadcasting, with six times the population, social sponsorship in all committees and advisory boards of ARD and ZDF is practically exercised by a total of only around 1000 representatives.

The enterprise

The company is run by the general management chaired by the general manager. The so-called corporate units are subordinate to this. They are:

The company also has the following subsidiaries:

  • the teletext operator and provider of multimedia services Swiss TXT
  • the holding company Telvetia SA

The company is u. a. Partner in the following companies:

A 33.3% stake in Admeira AG was sold in 2018.

On January 1, 2020, the Technology and Production Center Switzerland (tpc) subsidiary was reintegrated into SRF.

Viktor Baumeler was SRG's successor to Raymond Loretan from 2016 to 2017. He was replaced by Jean-Michel Cina in May 2017 .

From 2011 to 2017, Roger de Weck succeeded Armin Walpen as General Director of SRG. On November 9, 2016, Gilles Marchand was elected as the new General Manager. He took office on October 1, 2017.


SRG SSR is indeed a private law association , however, and an independent company receives, in addition to its concession by the federal government (for all electronic media required) and a clear legal mandate for the so-called "public service". SRG SSR is thus responsible for ensuring that all language regions receive secure information coverage and a diverse entertainment, educational and cultural program. For services that are provided within the scope of this statutory mandate, the association competes with other providers for broadcasting fees . SRG SSR receives 75% of the income from these fees, which Serafe AG ( Billag AG until the end of 2018 ) collects. Due to this special legal position (in addition to state media and public media), society prefers the legally non-binding expression "public media company" for itself.

As part of the “Media Convergence and Economic Efficiency” project decided in March 2009, SRG SSR bundled its corporate units for each language region and sought closer cooperation between radio, television and online. On January 1, 2011, the new corporate unit, Swiss Radio and Television , started operations as a merger between Schweizer Radio DRS and Schweizer Fernsehen .

Previous general directors

History of the SRG


SRG SSR (Switzerland)
Mt. Ceneri
Mt. Ceneri
Transmitter location map

The first public radio stations in Switzerland were airfield stations in Lausanne (program began on February 26, 1923, third public station in Europe), Geneva and Zurich, licensed under the new Telegraph and Telephone Traffic Act. They regularly distributed reports and weather reports for aviation, with music from records during the breaks; soon there was general news available from the Swiss dispatch agency, as well as sports programs.

In the period that followed, seven regional organizations came into being, which merged on February 24, 1931 to form the Verein Schweizerische Rundspruchgesellschaft (SRG) (the predecessor was the Union Radiophonique Suisse founded in March 1926 in Bern ).

No. organization begin Country broadcaster Frequency 1934 Director 1935
1 Radio Cooperative Zurich 23 Aug 1924
June 11, 1931
556 Jacob Job
2 Radio cooperative Basel 19 June 1926
Arsenal St. Jakob
(1931: Basel Barracks)
556; 1375 (BS) Emil Notz
3 Radio Cooperative Bern November 19, 1925
(1930: Bern-Wankdorf)
556; 1375 (BE) Kurt Schenker
4th Ostschweizerische Radiogesellschaft (ORG) St. Gallen Apr. 12, 1930 (established) 556 (-)
5 Société Romande de Radiodiffusion (SRR) Lausanne Feb. 26, 1923
Apr. 23, 1931
677 Eduard Müller
6th Société des Emissions de Radio-Genève (SERG) 10 Mar 1925
Félix Pommier
7th Ente Autonomo per la Radiodiffusione nella Svizzera Italiana (EARSI); 1938:
Società Cooperativa per la Radiodiffusione nella Svizzera Italiana (CORSI)
0July 7, 1929 (established) October 28, 1933
Monte Ceneri
1167 Felix A. Vitali

On the development in Germany: Reichs-Rundfunk-Gesellschaft (RRG); on the development in Austria: Radio Verkehrs AG (RAVAG)

1931 to 1950s

SRG received the sole license for radio broadcasts in Switzerland from the Federal Council . There was a clause in the approval that the SRG broadcasters were only allowed to obtain their information from SDA .

In 1937 the SRG was reorganized and more centralized for the first time. In 1938, Romansh was recognized as the fourth official national language in Switzerland, whereupon the Zurich radio studio started broadcasting contributions in Romansh.

At the National Exhibition of 1939, the ETH Zurich presented the new television technology to the amazed Swiss public for the first time in Switzerland. For the occasion, the SRG organized a number of actors whose performance was filmed and broadcast directly on a television screen.

During the Second World War , the SRG supported the “ intellectual national defense ” with its three national broadcasters , Radio Beromünster (German), Radio Sottens (French) and Radio Monte Ceneri (Italian) , thereby assuming an important political function. The programs on the political and military situation were broadcast worldwide via shortwave . Radio Beromünster, named after the regional broadcaster Beromünster , was the only “free” German-speaking broadcaster in Europe; became known in particular from Salis' Friday evening show Weltchronik .

1950s to 1990s

From the 1950s the radio landscape changed: the transistor radios slowly began to gain acceptance, making listening to the radio everyday and independent of location. The three SRG radio stations introduced their second programs on VHF in 1956 . At the same time as the transistor radios, television began to slowly but surely gain acceptance. The SRG started trial programs in Lausanne, Basel and Zurich. From 1953, the SRG introduced an official television service. A one-hour program was broadcast five evenings a week in the Zurich region. In 1954, SRG founded Eurovision together with eight other European television stations .

In 1957, the SRG received the first official television license in Switzerland, which came into force on January 1, 1958. From mid-1958, the programs in Zurich were supplemented by German and French-language programs from Zurich and Geneva, and the Italian-Swiss broadcaster broadcast programs from other parts of the country with Italian commentaries.

In 1961, Italian-speaking Switzerland received its first television studio in Ticino, and in 1963 the first Romansh program was broadcast. In 1964 the SRG was reorganized. In the same year, the Federal Council approved the introduction of television advertising and the SRG founded a subsidiary, the AG für Werbefernsehen.

In 1965 the radio and television studio in the parliament building was inaugurated and in 1966 a small studio for Rhaeto-Romanic programs was set up in Chur, from which programs are broadcast via DRS 2.

From 1966, the second stations (DRS 2, RSR 2 and RSI 2) officially become radio programs that are supposed to meet “higher standards in terms of music, entertainment and information”. From 1968 onwards, all television programs are broadcast in color.

SRG has been a partner in the “ Ritter der Strasse ” campaign since 1969 .

In the 1970s , new television studios were opened in Geneva , Zurich and Comano . From 1971 the radio news was no longer produced by the SDA, but became the responsibility of the SRG. Also in the seventies, Romansh became increasingly important and in 1975 the Televisiun Rumantscha department was created. From 1978 the radio stations of the SRG broadcast in stereophony .

In the 1980s , the rigid provisions of the media law were relaxed and the first private and commercial local radio stations were allowed. In 1983 the SRG introduced third programs for the young audience: DRS 3, Couleur 3 and Rete 3.

The SRG sports chain , launched in 1982, relieved the three main programs of the increasing number of sporting events being broadcast.

From 1984 onwards there was teletext on Swiss television stations for the first time . In the same year, the SRG started a joint program with ZDF and ORF , 3sat , and the French-language channel TV5 Monde with French and Belgian partners .

1990s to today

In 1991 the SRG was restructured again and converted into a holding company under stock corporation law, which, however, was still in public hands. In 1992 the SRG's cultural mandate was enshrined in law.

In 1993, SRG launched a new television chain, "S Plus", which from 1995 was called Switzerland - Suisse - Svizzera - Svizra 4 . In 1995 “Radio e Televisiun Rumantscha” (RTR with TvR and RR) split off from SF DRS and SR DRS and became an independent unit within SRG. In 1997, the unsuccessful fourth television channel "Switzerland 4" was discontinued and replaced by the second channels SF2 , TSR 2 and TSI 2 . The previous telephone slogan was also discontinued and replaced by the three program chains from Swiss Satellite Radio .

When it was reorganized in 1999, SRG was given its new name SRG SSR idée suisse , whereby the “Swiss idea” should stand for the public service.

In 1999, Schweizer Radio International opened the SRG's first internet platform. Worldwide access to SRG programs and information from Switzerland was made possible on . In the same year, the youth radio station Virus was the first digital radio in Switzerland to go on air.

From 2001 onwards, Schweizer Radio International changed its strategy and transformed into a multimedia company that from now on operates under the name .

From 2003 onwards, SRG broadcast all of its television and radio programs digitally via satellite.

In 2006, SRG SSR idée suisse celebrated its 75th anniversary and, in addition to a media charter, launched a public discussion on the public service .

In 2007, SRG was the first European television company to begin publicly commissioning free-to-air HD television under the name HD suisse .

In 2009, the addition of idée suisse was dropped from the name of the company.

In 2010 and 2011 respectively, Radio Suisse Romande (RSR) and Télévision Suisse Romande (TSR) were merged to form Radio Télévision Suisse (RTS) and Schweizer Radio DRS (SR DRS) and Schweizer Fernsehen (SF) to form Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen (SRF). In 2011, the Sottens national broadcaster , which had been in operation since 1931, was definitely switched off.

At the end of January 2012, the SRG test station HD suisse ceased operations. Since February 2012, SRG has been broadcasting six of its regular television programs in HD quality. The Federal Council adhered to the SRG's Internet advertising ban. On the other hand, it should be given greater leeway in terms of the content of the online offer.

In 2013, SRF and RTS launched the interactive television services “SRF +” and “RTS +” ( HbbTV ). The English-language World Radio Switzerland (WRS) was taken over by Anglo Media SA.

The National Council's media commission commissioned the Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM) to investigate what effects advertising bans and advertising restrictions would have on SRG and how other advertising media might benefit from them. For this purpose, the experts questioned referred to a breakdown of SRG advertising revenues in 2016. One of the conclusions is that if such advertising were banned by the SRG, television advertising would lose a total of 30 to 50 percent of its reach and thus its economic potential. The corresponding report states that even without such bans, the range and attractiveness of television spots will decrease in the future. The reasons given are the fragmentation of the media user audience and the time-shifted television viewing.

On March 4, 2018, the Swiss rejected a popular initiative to abolish reception fees with 71.6%.

In 2018 and 2019, the SRG announced multimillion-dollar savings measures due to falling advertising revenues.

In September 2019, SRG announced a new streaming media portal for autumn 2020.

SRG will broadcast its television programs via satellite in the UHD standard (also known as 4K) in the course of 2021 . The programs will then be shown in a resolution of 3840 × 2160 pixels - previously the SRG broadcast in HD , i.e. with 720 pixels. Since most Swiss viewers are cable customers, the availability of the sharper picture also depends on when the cable providers feed the picture in the new standard into the cable networks.

The SRG broadcasters

SRG SSR and its corporate units produce 17 radio and seven television programs, which are broadcast under the following station names:


The Swiss Pop channel will be sold by SRG and will be operated from September 2020 by BNJ Suisse SA, based in western Switzerland.

For information on transmission technology, see Digital Audio Broadcasting in Switzerland .

watch TV

The television offer includes

The Radiotelevisiun Svizra Rumantscha (RTR) does not operate its own program. The daily 10-minute program Telesguard is broadcast on SRF 1 , SRF info and RSI LA 2 . It also has a longer program window on SRF 1 on Sunday afternoons.


Teletext information is distributed via Swiss TXT .

Interactive television

Interactive television is offered on all channels on the basis of HbbTV . The solution was developed by the subsidiary Swiss TXT .


The information platform SWI, specially designed for the Swiss abroad, is available in ten languages ​​and offers various services. Most recently, an offer was published in Russian.

The SRG also operates three music platforms throughout Switzerland. In 2006, she launched with mx3 the portal for Swiss rock, pop and jazz, followed in 2009 volksmusik.mx3 for folk music and 2019 neo.mx3 a platform for contemporary and improvised Swiss music scene.


The broadcasting systems over which the SRG SSR programs are broadcast have belonged to Swisscom Broadcasting (formerly PTT), which is also responsible for operation , since the beginning of 2002 . The best known transmission systems are:

See also


  • Markus T. Drack (Ed.): Radio and Television in Switzerland: History of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG until 1958. hier + now, Baden 2000, ISBN 3-906419-12-6 .
  • Theo Mäusli (ed.), Andreas Steigmeier (ed.): Radio and television in Switzerland: history of the Swiss radio and television company SRG 1958–1983. here + now, Baden 2006, ISBN 3-03919-020-2 .
  • Theo Mäusli (Ed.), Andreas Steigmeier (Ed.), François Vallotton (Ed.): Radio and Television in Switzerland: History of the Swiss Radio and Television Company SRG 1983–2011. here + now, Baden 2012, ISBN 978-3-03919-216-8 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Entry of the "Swiss Radio and Television Company" in the commercial register of the Canton of Bern
  2. ^ A b SRG SSR: SRG SSR Annual Report 2016. Archived from the original on October 22, 2017 ; accessed on June 9, 2017 .
  3. SRG licenses of February 26, 1931 (see report on the current order of radio broadcasts in Switzerland and the neighboring states of November 27, 1931, BBl 1931 II 676 ), of November 30, 1936, of October 13, 1953 ( BBl 1953 III 345 ; see report on the regulations of the Swiss Broadcast Service of January 13, 1953, BBl 1953 I 17 ), of October 27, 1964 ( BBl 1964 II 1155 ), of December 22, 1980 ( BBl 1981 I 285 ) , of October 13, 1987 ( BBl 1987 III 813 ), of November 18, 1992 ( BBl 1992 VI 567 ) and of November 28, 2007 ( BBl 2007 8557 )
  4. ^ Rainer Stadler : Program analysis: The SRG in the public service In: Neue Zürcher Zeitung of August 20, 2016
  5. Ralf Siepmann: Convergence the federal way. SRG SSR is promoting the transfer into the digital age. , in: EPD Media No. 28 of July 13, 2012
  6. Nick Lüthi: tpc back to SRF: “The audience shouldn't notice anything about this step”. Media Week, July 4, 2019, accessed on January 7, 2020 .
  7. ^ Jean-Michel Cina becomes SRG President. In: Neue Zürcher Zeitung . July 1, 2016.
  8. A new team at the head of SRG. ( Memento of October 12, 2017 in the Internet Archive ) In: SRG SSR website. October 6, 2017 (press release).
  9. How much state is there in SRG? In:, December 8, 2017, accessed December 8, 2017.
  10. SRG Insider: Why is the expression “state television” or “public broadcaster” wrong?
  11. ^ De Weck new SRG director: The reactions . In: Basler Zeitung, Basler Zeitung . May 18, 2010, ISSN  1420-3006 ( [accessed May 7, 2018]).
  12. ^ Voting on the SRG - the history of the No Billag initiative , Aargauer Zeitung, November 1, 2017
  13. from October 14, 1922, BBl 1922 III 415 (message: BBl 1921 III 280 )
  14. Swiss history: The development of modern communication media ; Radio history of Switzerland
  15. The history of radio in Switzerland from 1911–2008 ; Overview of the history of the SRG SSR association ( memento from September 19, 2015 in the Internet Archive )
  16. Lucerne wave plan ( BBl 1934 I 835 , 847)
  17. ^ Swiss illustrated radio newspaper, 1935
  18. ^ The beginnings of Basler Rundfunk and Studio Basel
  19. Rainer Stadler: SRG advertising ban hardly helps the private sector. In: NZZ , March 20, 2018, accessed on March 22, 2018
  20. ^ FAZ / Jürg Altwegg : Federal struggle for all or nothing
  21. January 7, 2018 / Charlotte Theile : Why Switzerland could soon abolish license fees
  22. No to No Billag and now? In: Neue Zürcher Zeitung from March 4, 2018
  23. Jean-Claude Galli: SRG must save another 50 million. In: . September 23, 2019, accessed September 24, 2019 .
  24. Jean-Claude Galli: TV in Transition - Enjoy films like the «Undertaker» at the push of a button. In: September 29, 2019, accessed October 1, 2019 .
  25. As of next year, SRG will broadcast in Ultra UD In: from May 12, 2020
  26. Swiss TXT develops SmartTV offer for SRG . In: werbewoche . March 7, 2013. Retrieved July 22, 2013.
  27. SRG.D music platforms
  28. Website for the book with audio, video and text elements
  29. Christoph Schneider: Media history is also Swiss history. ( Memento from January 15, 2013 in the web archive ) In: Tages-Anzeiger from July 19, 2012
  30. ^ Rainer Stadler: When private television changed Switzerland. In: Neue Zürcher Zeitung of August 21, 2012