Swiss broadcast providers push for higher fees for catch-up TV
A Swiss telecom provider, Init7, has become the first to charge for catch-up TV, in order to cover the cost of viewers skipping ads on their favourite shows. Customers of larger companies will also see their bills rise.
Catch-up TV allows viewers to skip advertisements
So-called “Replay TV” is where a live show or broadcast can be viewed at a later date. This means access to a greater catalogue of shows up to 10 days after broadcast, and also allows viewers to skip advertisements on channels.
The Winterthur-based internet and TV provider Init7 has become the first to charge for Replay TV, amounting to an extra 11 Swiss francs a month. Other providers, like Salt., have also announced that they are considering price increases because of Replay TV.
Swisscom and Sunrise UPC have both confirmed that anyone who watches a programme on replay using their services will face an increased fee from May. According to the Tages-Anzeiger, others are considering making some ads completely “unskippable.”
Swiss networks trying to reclaim lost revenue
The networks explained that TV stations are charging higher prices for access to their channels because they know that each network provides catch-up. The higher price is compensation for lost advertising time because of customers skipping ad breaks.
Ralf Beyler, an expert from moneyland.ch, predicted that all providers will have a “Replay TV fee” in the near future. He criticised Init7, saying that "customers have gotten used to Replay TV. Many of them will neither be willing to pay around 10 francs a month for it nor look at the forced advertising."
He argued that the increase in price will only push demand away from TV stations and towards services like YouTube and Netflix. Customers of Init7 can forgo the extra charge, but will be unable to skip the commercial messages.