Anyone residing in Switzerland who receives radio and television programmes is obligated to pay licence fees, by virtue of the Federal Act on Radio and Television (RTVA), regardless of which stations they watch or listen to or by which means they do this (antenna, cable, satellite, telephone, mobile, internet).
The only people exempt from the fees are AHV and IV entitled parties, who are in receipt of benefits according to the Federal Act on Benefits supplementary to the Old Age, Survivors' and Invalidity Insurance. The government employed the company Billag for the collection of fees until late 2018.
The government determines the figure to be paid in radio and television fees.
For the most part, the revenue generated through fees serves to finance SRG’s public service radio and television programmes. 34 private radio and television operators also receive a share to fulfil concessionary services. Some of the revenue is used to promote new technology and audience research. The revenue also covers the costs for spectrum management (Bakom) and the collection of licence fees (Billag).
From 1 January 2019, a new radio and tv fee will be levied on households and companies. This new device-independent fee will replace the present licence fee, which will be discontinued end of 2018. For households, the radio and tv contribution will amount to 365 francs a year. For companies with an annual turnover of over 500,000 francs, the yearly contribution will vary between 365 and 35,590 francs a year, depending on their turnover.