Football TV broadcasting rights

Who will be airing which matches in 2017/ 2018?

Broadcasting rights for live football matches are hotly contested. We now know however that, in addition to the Super League, Teleclub will also have the exclusive broadcasting rights for the UEFA Champions and Europa Leagues. What does this mean for Swisscom TV customers? Who will be offering viewers which matches – and how many of them will be free? And what will happen abroad?

Roger Baur, 24 July 2017

At the moment, the Champions League is mainly broadcast on free TV. All the key matches are free and, for the most part, are still currently available on several channels: SRF, ZDF or ORF. This will remain the case for the next season. However, as of mid-2018, the UEFA has reassigned the rights for Switzerland and most of our neighbouring countries. What this means is that, in Germany, Austria and France, the Champions League will practically only be available on pay TV, with a mixed solution for Switzerland. At time of going to press, no decision had been reached regarding Italy.

Champions League as of 2018: everything live, much of it for free

Teleclub will broadcast all matches live – and not all will be encrypted because, as of 20 July, Teleclub will also be offering a free channel called “Teleclub Zoom”. The SRG is also staying on the ball as it will be broadcasting one of the Wednesday matches. The final will be exclusively broadcast on Teleclub Zoom, meaning that it will be free for everyone.

Swisscom TV broadcasts the Raiffeisen Super League exclusively in 4K UHD with Teleclub Live Sport. Live broadcasts of the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League are also exclusive for Switzerland and can be watched without a TV-Box on your laptop, tablet or smartphone.

The Champions League will no longer be broadcast on foreign channels: ZDF and ORF will not be broadcasting matches any more – Sky and DAZN will take over the broadcasts for Germany and Austria. According to "Spiegel", DAZN will be broadcasting 104 matches, Sky will broadcast 34 and will offer a conference channel for matches running simultaneously. If you don’t want to miss a match in Germany, you will need the subscriptions for two pay TV providers. Things are different in France, where all the matches have been reassigned from C8, beINSports and Canal+ to "SFR Sport" – which is also a pay TV.

Europa League: at least one match a week on free TV

It is a similar story for the Europa League. Teleclub will be showing all matches live – in most cases exclusively for subscribers, but also regularly on the free “Teleclub Zoom” channel. In addition, SRG will also be broadcasting one match live every Thursday.

Unique solution for Switzerland

The solution for Switzerland is therefore virtually unique with broadcasting rights concentrated on Switzerland’s two largest sports TV broadcasters: Teleclub and SRF. Teleclub has been on air since 1982: It started out as a feature film channel in the Zurich cable network, which also attracted subscribers from Germany and Austria thanks to satellite broadcasting. The pay TV pioneer relinquished its role to “Premiere”, the predecessor of the present-day “Sky Deutschland”.
Teleclub has however only been broadcasting Swiss sport for the past 11 years. The broadcaster built new studios in Volketswil near Zurich for the purpose, trained up new reporters and thus established Switzerland’s largest sports desk alongside SRF. Teleclub has broadcast countless sports since 2006, including Super League and Challenge League matches. Once only broadcast very occasionally on television, today these matches enjoy a greater TV presence than ever before in Swiss football history.

Teleclub now with free channel

Launched on 22 July, Teleclub now offers a fully-fledged free TV channel in the shape of “Teleclub Zoom”. The new channel thus becomes part of a long Teleclub tradition of unencrypted programmes. In the early days, these included a self-advertising programme called the “Info Show” as well as some music, comedy and documentary series. At the beginning of the1990s, the first programmes funded through commercials came on the scene, with the cinema magazine “Close-Up” and several individual concerts.

Starting 22 July, the new free TV channel Teleclub Zoom will offer Swiss sports fans an additional sports channel with exclusive sports content and selected live broadcasts free of charge. © 2017 KEYSTONE / TELECLUB

The advent of digital television however heralded the demise of such shows: Swamped by several hundred channels, a single unencrypted one barely surfaces. With "Teleclub Zoom", this is all set to change again.