Significant increase in regional information on local radio and regional television

In 2022 the licensed local radio and regional television stations broadcast substantially more news related to their coverage area than in 2020. Most of the 38 broadcasters met their licence requirements for regional reporting. Television stations in particular have expanded their information offering. This was revealed in the programming analysis conducted by Publicom AG on behalf of the Federal Office of Communications.

An analysis of programming on Swiss local radio and regional television stations with a performance mandate shows a clear overall improvement for 2022 compared to the previous survey in 2020. There was a marked reduction in the number of broadcasters failing to meet the minimum quantitative requirements, from 12 in 2020 to five in 2022. Of the 25 local radio stations licensed at the time of the survey, 21 devoted at least 30 minutes a day of prime-time coverage to relevant regional information. They have therefore fulfilled the requirements of their licence. Four of them devoted even more than an hour to regional news. However, the target was not reached by four radio broadcasters holding a licence without fee support (Radio Basilisk, Radio 1, GRRIF and LFM). On average, the local radio stations surveyed were found to broadcast around 45 minutes of relevant local content a day, i.e. about five minutes more than in 2020.

Regional television has shown an even greater improvement. The survey covered 13 licensed regional television broadcasters. With only one exception (TVO), all of these met the quantitative requirement of 150 minutes of regional information. On average, local content accounted for more than five hours of their weekly broadcast time, an increase of around 30 minutes compared to 2020.

OFCOM is initiating proceedings against the television broadcaster TVO. However, it will not be taking any measures against the four radio broadcasters that did not meet the requirements: none of these receive fee support and they all broadcast in coverage areas for which licences will no longer be awarded from 2025 on (see box).

OFCOM has published the results on its website. The complete reports with detailed information on programming output will be published in the summer.

Information on the programming surveys

For around 10 years now, OFCOM has commissioned research institutes to analyse the programming of Swiss local radio and regional television. They perform a quantitative analysis of the content, e.g. on specific topics, and examine it for regional relevance.

The survey is conducted for a number of sample days selected at random. For the local radio stations, it covers a fictitious week of seven different days of the week spread over the year. The analysis of regional television programming covers two such fictitious weeks (14 sample days).

The contract for the programming analysis is currently held by Publicom AG.

Quantitative minimum requirement and broadcast licences

Licensed commercial broadcasters of local/regional radio and television are required to fulfil an information mandate. Since 2020, fulfilment of this mandate has been assessed on the basis of a quantitative minimum requirement. This refers to the proportion of relevant local or regional information that must be broadcast during prime time. The subject areas deemed to be relevant in this regard are politics, economy, society, culture and sport. Such broadcasts can be classified as regional information if, for example, the location of an event or the place affected is within the coverage area.

At the time of the 2022 survey, 12 commercial local radio stations held a fee-sharing licence and another 13 held a licence without support from the radio and television fee. In addition, 13 regional television broadcasters held a fee-sharing licence. The performance mandate for the regional public service is set out in their respective licences.

In January 2023, DETEC invited tenders for 38 broadcast licences for the period 2025 to 2034. The decisions are expected to be available by the end of 2023

Further information

The results of the program analysis can be found in German, French and Italian.

Specialist staff
Last modification 07.06.2023

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