Head office of the Swiss public broadcasting organisation SRG SSR in Berne, Switzerland.
SRG SSR is the Swiss public broadcasting organisation, founded in 1931. Headquartered in Bern, SRG SSR is a non-profit organisation, funded mainly through radio and television licence fees (70%) and making the remaining income from advertising and sponsorship.
Switzerland’s system of direct democracy and the fact that the country has four official languages (German, French, Italian and Romansh) mean that the structure of Swiss public service broadcasting is rather complicated. The actual holders of the broadcasting licences that enable SRG SSR to operate are four regional associations: SRG idée suisse Deutschschweiz (SRG.D), SSR idée suisse Romande (RTSR), Società cooperativa per la radiotelevisione nella Svizzera italiana (CORSI), and SRG SSR idée suisse Svizra Rumantscha (SRG.R). These four associations, which are to a large part run by the listeners and viewers in each region, maintain SRG SSR as a joint central production and broadcasting company.
SRG SSR is the business name of the association, while its official name is Schweizerische Radio- und Fernsehgesellschaft (SRG, formerly “Schweizerische Rundspruchgesellschaft”) in German, Société suisse de radiodiffusion et télévision (SSR, formerly “Société suisse de radiodiffusion”) in French, Società svizzera di radiotelevisione (SSR, formerly “Società svizzera di radiodiffusione”) in Italian, and Societad svizra da radio e televisiun (SSR, formerly “Societad svizra da radio”) in Romansh. The names altogether are shortened to SRG SSR. In English, the organisation is known as the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation; it often uses the abbreviation “SBC”. The moniker “idée suisse” (French: Swiss idea), which refers to the public service mission of the organisation, was adopted in 1999 and was removed from the name in May 2011.