Sport has always gripped spectators with its excitement and emotional resonance. It brings people together across linguistic and cultural boundaries. That is why SRG SSR maintains a broad involvement in sport.

Sport forms a key part of SRG SSR’s public service remit. Radio and television alike focus on Swiss sportspeople with national and international profiles and offer their audience a wide range of sports tailored to Swiss tastes with highlights from Switzerland and abroad. Sport is pure excitement, allowing those watching it to immerse themselves in the atmosphere and experience emotional moments. 

Varied sport reporting

SRG SSR regularly covers more than 60 different sports in its radio and television programming. Its sport strategy is aimed at offering attractive and competitive sport coverage that appeals to a large audience. To this end, SRG SSR employs the following three-pillar model: 

Show Swiss sportspeople Report on sporting events in Switzerland Broadcast top international events
These include such sporting stars as Simone Niggli, Roger Federer, Nicola Spirig, Lara Gut, Simon Ammann, Tom Lüthi, Mark Streit and Fabian Cancellara as well as their respective disciplines such as skiing, riding and tennis. These include such events as ski racing in Adelboden and Wengen, athletics at the Weltklasse Zurich and Athletissima Lausanne, cycling on the Tour de Suisse and Tour de Romandie, horse riding at the CSIO Switzerland, ice hockey at the Spengler Cup, football and ice hockey championships, European Masters golf in Crans-Montana, the Ruderwelt Luzern regatta, beach volleyball in Gstaad, the Swiss Wrestling and Alpine Sports Festival, the Gymnastics Festival and the Shooting Festival. These include such highlights of the world sporting calendar as the Olympic Games, the FIFA World Cup and UEFA European Championships and Champions League in football, Formula 1, the FIS World Cup in skiing, the Tour de France, the European Athletics Championships and World Championships in Athletics and the Grand Slam tournaments in tennis.

In short, sport coverage on radio and television is intended to show the whole of the sporting world from a Swiss perspective.

Business Unit Sport

Business Unit Sport (BUS) is responsible for implementing the sport strategy in SRG SSR sport programmes. On the one hand, BUS is responsible for acquiring sport rights and producing national sporting events. On the other, it organises and coordinates major international projects for the SRG SSR radio and television companies such as the Olympic Games as well as various European and world championships. It also manages the national sport budgets. 

Total costs for major SRG SSR projects, 1998 to 2010 (rights and production)

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Explanation of chart: The Olympic Games as well as the football World Cup and European Championships take place in even years, whereas the main events in the odd years are the FIS Alpine and Cross-Country World Cups.

The rising budget demands of SRG SSR’s sport reporting are reflected in particular in the increasing degree of commercialisation and rights marketing in sport. The European Union is increasingly treating major sporting events as commercial enterprises when it comes to competition and media issues. As a result, the relevant contracts are being influenced ever more frequently by the provisions of antitrust and media legislation.

Those responsible for marketing sporting events are also guaranteeing sponsors more and more exclusive rights across all conceivable platforms. The commercial interests of rights marketing for major sporting events such as the Olympic Games and the football World Cup and European Championships in particular has led to a massive rise in the cost of broadcast rights and production in recent years.

Trend in European Broadcasting Union (EBU) rights costs for the Olympic Games, 1980-2012

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Sporting challenges

  • Diversity in sport: The importance of telegenic sports is growing steadily. “Premium” sports like Formula 1 and football, together with “premium” events like the Olympic Games, the FIFA World Cup and the UEFA European Championship and Champions League competitions, are set to build further on their dominance of the marketplace. Against the backdrop of this globalised sport market, the importance of traditional sports like athletics, cycling, equestrianism, rowing, gymnastics and swimming is waning around the world. SRG SSR’s sport strategy is intended to counteract this trend for the Swiss market with a view to offering the audience a broad choice of sport broadcasting and thus bolstering the diversity of Swiss events of both national and international interest.

  • Transparency with regard to abuse and cheating: SRG SSR’s sport journalists maintain the requisite distance from events and sportspeople. They provide transparent, critical, objective and unbiased reporting, even on negative developments in the world of sport, including hooliganism, cheating, bribery and doping.