Berne, 18 July 2013
Swisscom rejects the allegation made by cable providers that it is unlawfully expanding the range of live sports broadcasts in Switzerland. It is more a case of the cable providers failing to actively promote or expand their own live transmissions of sporting events despite having been involved in television business for over a decade.
When it entered the TV business in 2006, Swisscom broke new ground as a newcomer, opening up competition and subsequently investing heavily in expanding the range of live sporting events on television. Thanks to the commitment of Swisscom and Cinetrade, sports fans today continue to enjoy a much wider selection of live broadcasts on both free TV and pay TV. For example, there is today four to six times more Swiss football broadcast live on free TV, while it is now also possible to enjoy all 180 Super League matches as well as 36 Challenge League matches live on pay TV.
The partnership between Swisscom and Cinetrade has developed over many years: Swisscom customers have one-stop access to attractive content via TV and computer, as well as smartphone and tablet. Swisscom offers its TV customer more than 4,000 Teleclub Sport Live events and 7,800 films, documentaries and concerts on demand each year. In the past year alone, customers have viewed almost eight million live sporting events and films with Swisscom TV. Teleclub also offers several attractive pay TV packages.
The linear Teleclub sports offerings, which are broadcast on three channels, are identical on cable networks and IPTV provider networks. As in other countries, broadcasting rights for sports programmes in Switzerland are issued periodically as part of a competition in which cable providers, for example, also participate. A number of sports and entertainment packages also compete with each other.
The high levels of investment that Swisscom and Cinetrade have made to make sports broadcasts, which were previously neglected in Switzerland, attractive for pay TV justify their partial exclusive broadcasting via the Swisscom TV platform. Without this partial exclusivity, the investments cannot be adequately protected. Swisscom and Cinetrade are confident that the Competition Commission will reach the same conclusion during its investigation.