Swisscom customers can continue to watch Replay TV on the majority of TV channels as usual. At present, only around 20 German and Swiss private TV channels are planning to roll out the three new advertising formats. Initially, there are no plans to introduce these formats on French and Italian-language channels.
At the start of a Replay programme, there can now be a short, seven-second start ad similar to those found on Youtube. If customers try to fast forward a conventional commercial break during the programme, there will be three to five ads that cannot be skipped. These must not last longer than 130 seconds in total and customers will see the number of remaining ads on the screen. The programme then continues. An advert is now also displayed when the pause button is pressed.
First of all, it is not the case that customers can no longer skip the adverts There are only around four minutes of ads that cannot be skipped per broadcast hour.
However, for those who want to continue to enjoy the freedom to skip ads whenever they like, we have launched the new Replay Comfort option costing CHF 6.90 per month. This option dispenses with all of the new advertising formats. Programmes begin at the very start with no start ad, and customers can skip any commercial breaks with pinpoint accuracy at the touch of a button on the channels in question and continue to enjoy uninterrupted viewing. In addition, our blue TV media library will continue to offer our blue TV M and L customers thousands of ad-free series, feature films and children's programmes.
The tariff now incurred by Swisscom when customers skip adverts is very expensive. The new option costs CHF 6.90, but we actually have to pay CHF 7 to the collecting societies for each of these customers. The collecting societies then distribute the whole of this fee to the beneficiaries (which include the channels, screenwriters, directors, actors etc.). Moreover, a combined payment would not have been fair because not all customers are equally impacted by the change. If someone mainly watches French or Italian-language channels, then nothing will change for them at present. Even for German-language channels, it depends on the channel.
The industry agreement was a compromise allowing providers to continue to offer the popular Replay TV function. If we and other telecommunications providers had not accepted the agreement, it could have led to extensive legal wrangling and a change in the copyright law. In all likelihood, this would have ultimately made it impossible to offer Replay TV in its current format.