GENEVA (AP) — Official results show that Swiss voters have handily rejected a proposal brought by free-market advocates to end mandatory fees to finance publicly supported TV and radio programming.
State-backed broadcaster RTS says a minimum number of Swiss cantons, or regions, turned down the “No Billag” referendum on Sunday, spelling the end of the measure championed by far-right populists and named for the company that collects the fees.
A “yes” would have ended TV license fees of about 450 francs ($480) per year.
The vote had been widely watched by broadcasters across Europe.
The head of German public broadcaster ZDF, Thomas Bellut, hailed the outcome, saying “the Swiss have sent a signal and made clear how important public broadcasters are for a pluralistic society.”