SRG – organizationally something special
When people talk about SRG, they are usually referring to the media company. But the name SRG is used for two intertwined entities – the aforementioned media company and the association. The association's purpose is to manage the company. In so doing, it has to be guided by the principles of company law. For this reason, SRG also has bodies that are similar to those of a public limited company, such as the Board of Directors and the Delegates' Meeting. However, the association is not free to choose what the company can or cannot do. The association is obliged to provide the media services enshrined in law, in other words, radio and television schedules and online offerings. In so doing, it must be mindful of the public mandate as laid down in law and in its Charter (see also section on "Mandate and legal position").
Broadcasting corporations with a public mandate can be found in many countries throughout the world. What they all have in common is the guiding principle of public service (see "Mandate and legal position").
However, their legal forms vary considerably. The Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SRG) has a very special, unique structure:
- SRG is not a state-owned institution but an association, managed in accordance with the principles of company law.
- This association forms the ownership structure for the company.
- The association consists of four regional companies – SRG Deutschschweiz, Société de radiodiffusion et de télévision de la Suisse romande, Società cooperativa per la Radiotelevisione svizzera di lingua italiana and SRG SSR Svizra Rumantscha.
- The association has to ensure that the service remit laid down in law and the SRG Charter is fulfilled.
SRG is therefore anchored in civil society. In other words: SRG has the backing of its 23,700 or so members.
The company comprises five Enterprise Units – RSI, RTR, RTS, SRF and SWI Swissinfo – and four subsidiary companies – technology and production center switzerland ag (TPC), SWISS TXT AG, Telvetia S.A. and Mxlab AG. With around 5983 employees (equivalent to 4946 full-time positions), an annual turnover of around CHF 1.6 billion, 17 radio stations and seven TV channels plus supplementary online services, SRG is the largest electronic media company in Switzerland. As a non-profit organization, SRG raises around 75 percent of its funds through fees and around 25 percent through commercial activities.