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IRIS 2009-9:8/11

Switzerland

Agreement between SSR and Swiss Audiovisual Industry

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Patrice Aubry

RTS Radio Télévision Suisse, Geneva

The Swiss radio and television broadcasting company (Société Suisse de Radiodiffusion et Télévision - SSR) and the main Swiss associations in the audiovisual industry have concluded a new collaboration agreement, that was signed in Locarno on 7 August 2009. The agreement is based on Article 17 of the concession granted to SSR, which requires SSR to regulate by contract the main features of its collaboration with the independent audiovisual industry. Under Article 2 of the concession, SSR is also required, in providing its services, to guarantee that an appropriate part of the market is granted to the independent audiovisual industry.

The collaboration that this new agreement institutes covers firstly the technical services of Swiss professionals in the cinema and audiovisual fields, and the production of television broadcasts and programmes. The partners have agreed to support the Swiss audiovisual industry by the concerted outsourcing of certain technical services and “turnkey” commissions. The key broadcasts in SSR’s scheduling (daily and weekly news and sports broadcasts) will nevertheless continue to be produced in SSR’s production centres. Broadcasts that are technically complex will also be produced within SSR or managed by its production centres.

The agreement also aims to organise in a transparent fashion SSR’s collaboration with the independent audiovisual industry. Ideally, the agreement will allow more effective coordination of the market for demand and the offer of technical services. A further aim of the agreement is to avoid competition as a result of duplicated competencies, particularly with regard to the production of advertising and industrial films, and the rental of technical equipment.

SSR intends to encourage transparency in the attribution of mandates and to promote greater foreseeability in the scheduling of its production activities. It therefore undertakes to manage in a transparent fashion the procedures for calls for tenders, assessment of proposals, and the awarding of orders for services. SSR’s requirements are mainly for the hire of cameras, studio equipment and lighting, static and mobile recording studios, editing, special effects, computer graphics, subtitling, film laboratories, and staging. For programmes, SSR will be able to entrust to independent producers the production of television broadcasts, particularly entertainment and commissioned films, as well as subjects included in regular broadcasts (information, sport, etc).

In accordance with this agreement, which came into force on 1 August 2009 and will remain valid until 31 December 2011, the partners confirm their intention to improve the quality and diversity of the independent audiovisual industry and to encourage competition in the production of television broadcasts. Thus the agreement supplements the Audiovisual Pact, renewed in 2008 for three years, which supports the production of fiction, documentary and animated films for cinema and television (see IRIS 2008-8:7).

References
Kooperationsvereinbarung zwischen der Schweizerischen Radio- und Fernsehgesellschaft SRG SSR und den Verbänden der schweizerischen audiovisuellen Industrie
  Collaboration agreement between Société Suisse de Radiodiffusion et Télévision and the associations representing the Swiss audiovisual industry