Swiss voters reject plan to end mandatory TV fees

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GENEVA (AP) - An exit poll suggests 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

The vote Sunday is being widely watched by broadcasters across Europe.

Publicly supported RTS radio, citing an exit poll by the gfs.bern agency, says first projections show 71 percent of Swiss voters have rejected the "No Billag" referendum, named for the company that collects the fees. A "yes" would have end TV license fees of about 450 francs ($480) per year.

If that result holds, it's a blow for far-right populists who sought an end to the fees, arguing that the publicly supported broadcasters have an overly dominant position in Swiss media.

Fee proponents say the Swiss should support domestic broadcasters and programming.

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