Television and Radio in Switzerland

Information on the transmission systems used in Switzerland...

The television standard in use in Switzerland is DVB-T broadcasting system.

Most countries in the world have either switched over, are switching over, or plan to switch over from analogue TV broadcasting to digital TV broadcasting. Before the advent of digital broadcasting, the main three standards were:

  • NTSC: the USA, Canada, Japan
  • PAL: most of Western Europe, Australia, southern Africa
  • SECAM: Eastern Europe and France

Today, the main digital standards are:

  • DVB-T: most of the world, including Europe, southern Africa, Australia and southern Asia
  • ATSC: the USA, Canada, Mexico and South Korea
  • ISDB-T: most of South America
  • DTMB: China

The systems are not compatible, so a television produced for one system will not work on another.


It is possible to access UK-based free-to-air (FTA) programming on the same satellite that broadcasts Sky Digital. Please note, however, that there is no legal way to access encrypted programming on that satellite while in Switzerland or France (such as Sky Digital's premium channels accessible only through a Sky subscription package, or those channels that may only be watched in the UK using a satellite receiver with a free-to-view - FTV - card installed).

Swiss television

The SRG/SSR is the Swiss national public broadcaster. It provides French-language TV channels, as well as Italian, German and Romansch channels.

The Swiss Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM) handles all questions relating to telecommunications and broadcasting. It has a full list of the licensed television and radio broadcasters operating in Switzerland.

Radio and TV Licence Fees

All households in Switzerland will have to pay a TV and radio licence fee. This money is used to subsidise the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation and a range of private regional radio and TV channels.

An annual licence fee is payable to SERAFE, the collection agency for the licence fee. Control checks can be made any time, and TV or radio users without a licence will be fined. The fee for a private household is CHF (correct 1 January 2021)  All households in Switzerland are basically liable for the fee. For information on exemptions visit the SERAFE website

  • SERAFE Swiss Collection Agency for the Radio and Television fee
    : PO Box, 8010, Zurich