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Swiss football fans to enjoy watching Champions League on public television until 2003

Football fans across Switzerland will be able to continue watching Champions League matches up to the 2002/2003 season courtesy of the country's state broadcaster, in three languages.

German-language television, DRS, along with its French-lanuguage and Italian language counterparts, TSR and TSI have extended their contracts with the European football body, UEFA, beyond the end of this month, for the next three years. None of the parties involved have revealed how much the deal is worth.

The general-director of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SRG-SSR Idée Suisse), Armin Walpen, said there would be no changes to normal broadcasting, adding, "We are pleased that we will be able to continue regularly offering the viewing public a quality product featuring the UEFA Champions League.

He said developments in advertising revenue had created the right conditions for the conclusion of the new, extended contract to take place. The SBC said fears that this season's expanded format (1999/2000) would dilute the product were unfounded. Instead, Swiss television reported successful viewing figures.

The extended contract also means the German-language broadcaster DRS would continue to show highlights and match reports on Tuesdays on its second channel SF2, including previews, live coverage and match analysis.

The French-language broadcaster, TSR, and its Italian counterpart, TSI, will also continue to offer coverage of selected games and briefings on other matches on both of their channels on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

In the event of a Swiss club qualifying for the Champions League, the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation would produce its own extensive coverage of home matches.

swissinfo with agencies

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