In densely cabled Switzerland, public broadcaster Schweizerische Radio- und Fernsehgesellschaft (SRG) is dominating the market, being the only national broadcaster that covers entire Switzerland with its television and radio programmes (75% of its income funded by licence fee). Nevertheless, it is facing strong competition of cross-frontier broadcasting, especially from Germany. In 1993, it started restructuring its organization and programmes by launching the projet "From an Institution to a Business", already leading to average television ratings of bout 38% during prime-time - followed by Germany’s RTL, ARD, SAT1 and ZDF.
In a further attempt to strengthen its competitiveness within the next five years, SRG transforms its Schweizer Fernsehen der Deutschen und Raetoromanischen Schweiz (SF DRS) television channels production department into an independent profit-center after having promising experiences with producing programmes for RTL. Passed a one year transition stage, SF DRS will be allowed to commission other production companies. For compensation, the TV Production Center can also produce for other broadcasting companies.
Although Switzerland regards programme quotas as unnecessary and impracticable, mostly because of its mixture of languages and cultures, SF DRS shows about 40% each Swiss programmes and EU productions. SRG broadcasts in the country’s main languages German, French, Italian and Raetoromanic.
© April 1996 by Jens Barkemeyer