Swiss Broadcasting Corp. moots pay TV venture

The Swiss Broadcasting Corporation is considering launching a pay-per-view TV venture to screen ice hockey matches, according to a Sunday newspaper. The news comes after broadcasters held talks with the president of Switzerland's ice hockey league.

This content was published on January 16, 2000 - 12:55

The Swiss Broadcasting Corporation is considering launching a pay-per-view TV venture to with the country's largest cable television company, Cablecom, according to a Sunday newspaper.

The news comes after broadcasters held talks in December with the president of Switzerland's ice hockey league.

The report, in the SonntagsZeitung, says preliminary talks are underway between the public and private heavyweights of Swiss broadcasting, following a meeting with the ice hockey league in late December.

Under the proposal being discussed, ice hockey matches would be the testing ground for any future pay TV venture. The games could be broadcast on Cablecom's digital channel, Swissfun, launched last November.

By paying a premium to watch ice hockey, subscribers would be able to view matches live from start to finish. At present, only eight out of every 225 ice hockey matches are relayed live on television.

The newspaper points out, though, that pay TV is likely to face formidable challenges in Switzerland. In the first place, broadcasters would have to persuade fans to fork out Sfr600 for a digital set-top box. This may prove difficult unless the quality of programming on Swissfun is substantially improved. At the moment, Swissfun has only 3,000 subscribers.

The SBC's status as a publicly-funded organisation is also likely to cause complications.

The newspaper makes clear that negotiations are still in their preliminary stages, and pay-per-view wouldn't become a reality until September at the earliest.

From newspaper and wire reports

This article was automatically imported from our old content management system. If you see any display errors, please let us know: community-feedback@swissinfo.ch

Share this story