Friday, June 28, 2024

Swiss state broadcaster confirms switch off of FM service by the end of 2024

In a press release dated Thursday 27th June 2024, the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC) confirmed that it would switch off all of the FM transmitters at the end of the year.

In a statement, SBC said..."Those who listen to the radio now largely do so via digital audio broadcasting (DAB+) or the internet, the SBC said on Thursday. Fewer and fewer very high frequency (VHF-FM) receivers are still in use in Switzerland, it said. Remaining, pure FM usage is stagnating at less than 10%."

A previous survey in 2020 had put the number of people listening on FM at 13%.

SBC continues... "In addition, maintenance of FM transmitters and investment in their renewal is expensive and disproportionate, the SBC said. In light of the organisation’s tough financial situation due to declining advertising revenues and inflation, further investment in outdated broadcasting technology is no longer justifiable. DAB+ and the internet offer better quality and a larger programme selection, are more energy and cost efficient, and can provide additional information in text and images."

FM was originally expected to be switched off throughout Switzerland by the end of 2024. The government extended FM licences for the radio industry for the last time in October 2023 to the end of 2026, after which radio stations in Switzerland will no longer be able to broadcast via FM, only digitally. The Swiss regulator OFCOM announced at the time that the final extension would give the radio industry the flexibility to complete the transition process from analogue to digital radio.

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