The revision of the Radio and Television Act (RTVA) improves the general conditions for regional radio and television stations which will receive additional resources when the new legal basis enters into force, i.e. from mid-2016 onwards. The details of the implementation of the RTVA must now be specified in the implementing ordinance.
The 21 radio stations and 13 television stations which fulfil a local public service mandate will see their situation improve as a result of the amendment of the RTVA.
From the entry into force of the new provisions in summer 2016, the private radio and television stations will receive between 4% and 6% of radio-television fee revenue collected. They are currently entitled to 4% of the receipts (CHF 54 million). The fee revenue allocated to the private stations may thus be increased by a maximum of CHF 27 million. It will be up to the Federal Council to set the actual amount.
To date, private radio and television stations have not been able to access the entirety of the amount of the fee which was reserved for them, for example because of delayed procedures relating to the granting of licences. This surplus, amounting to approximately CHF 45 million, will be allocated to training and professional development of personnel, to digitisation of radio and television and to generally informing the public about the digitisation of radio. The methods for distributing these amounts will be specified in the Ordinance on Radio and Television (ORTV).
Licence award procedures
In order to simplify and expedite the award of licences to local radio and television stations, it will no longer be compulsory to verify that the diversity of opinions and of the offering is not threatened in the coverage areas concerned. However, if several candidatures are equivalent, the licence will be awarded to the broadcaster which contributes the most to media diversity. In addition, DETEC will be able to verify at any time during the licence duration, if the diversity of the offering and of opinions is endangered and order appropriate measures to be taken if necessary.
Facilitating the introduction of new technologies
Support for new broadcasting technologies will be a matter for the future, given the operating costs and more specifically the agreed investment in infrastructures. The migration to new technologies – in particular from FM to DAB+ – is thus facilitated and diversity of the media is encouraged.
In addition, to encourage the use of digital broadcasting techniques, media companies will from now on be able to acquire more than two radio licences and two television licences if the programme services are transmitted using new technologies, such as DAB+.
Subtitling of information broadcasts on regional television
The 13 regional television stations supported by fee splitting will in future have to subtitle their main information broadcasts to make them accessible to deaf people. The costs incurred will be covered in full by the radio-television fee.
With the entry into force of the new legal provisions, the Independent Complaints Authority for Radio and Television (ICA) will monitor the the SRG SSR's editorial contributions transmitted not only on radio or television but also on the internet. As in the past, it will intervene when it receives a complaint.
Last modification 13.07.2015