The SRF is postponing the opening of its new studios again

It’s modern, but it doesn’t work: the new news and sports center for Swiss television in Zurich. Image: srf

The SRF is postponing the commissioning of its new studios again – that costs millions

The technical problems are so great that SRF cannot send from the news center before 2022 – which was created in 2019. The repair work devours 400,000 francs per month.

Francesco Benini / ch media

The tragedy continues. Last December, Swiss television announced: “According to the current project plan, the first broadcasts from the studio space in the new news and sports center will not be possible until mid-2021 at the earliest.”

The new studios should have been broadcast from November 2019. So it was planned. The start had to be postponed several times due to technical problems. Now it can be seen that the difficulties have still not been resolved. On request, Remo Vogt, the overall project manager at the Leutschenbach location in Zurich, explains:

The decision as to which variant is preferred will be made in July.

It is therefore certain that the delay will be more than two years. The technicians are currently struggling with the “Master Control Room”, the heart of the signal distribution from SRF – and the entire SRG. “During the actual development it became apparent that the implementation of this complex sub-project required more time than expected in the first estimates,” says Remo Vogt.

Only 6 of 15 sub-projects have been implemented

The technicians at Swiss television felt compelled to divide the commissioning of the news and sports center into 15 sub-projects. They are not implemented simultaneously, but gradually. Project manager Vogt explains that six sub-projects have been implemented, for example the newsrooms for news and sports and a new editing system.

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The project is currently tying up 25 full-time positions; According to Vogt, there are one or two external technicians involved. That costs Swiss television around 400,000 francs per month. That is bitter for a public media company that has to save funds and therefore dismisses employees. The dysfunctional news and sports center ensures countless biting comments among the employees at Leutschenbach.

In addition to the ridicule, there is a reproach that must be taken seriously: Swiss television was much too ambitious when it relied on IP technology in the new studios – which has hardly been tested. The station wanted to distinguish itself as a technological pioneer and is now paying a high price for it. The technical problems are much bigger than those responsible assumed when they made the procurement decision.

Wouldn’t it be better to cancel the project?

There are critics at Leutschenbach who think: It would be best to break off the project and install studios with tried and tested technical systems. Only 6 of the 15 sub-projects have been implemented – not even half. IP technology is extremely difficult to get a grip on.

Project manager Vogt doesn’t want to know anything about it. “SRF is convinced that the technology decision is correct,” he says. IP technology is being used in the first sub-projects; it runs flawlessly and reliably. The technology offers users great flexibility. (aargauerzeitung.ch)

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