With TV recording there’s no need to miss programmes just because they’re on at the wrong time. And, when it’s time to watch them, it’s easy to fast forward through the adverts, something that can’t be done when watching live.
In Switzerland, television recording is offered by big distributers, such as Swisscom, Sunrise and UPC. Broadcasters don’t provide it.
While fast forwarding adverts is great for viewers, broadcasters, who claim to have missed out on CHF 87 million in 2016 from advert fast forwarding, are unhappy.
In Switzerland, among 15 to 59 year-olds, recorded TV viewing has risen roughly four-fold to around 25% in the last four years, with 60% to 80% fast forward through the ad breaks.
In return for TV content, distributers paid broadcasters CHF 7.6 million in 2016. Broadcasters say this amount, which is far less than the CHF 87 million of foregone advertising revenue, is not enough.
Switzerland’s association for radio and television (IRF), says the situation in Switzerland is out of line with the rest of the world. In other countries, TV broadcasters decide who may watch which programme and under what kind of conditions, says the IRF. This means broadcasters can directly negotiate fees for catchup-TV with distributors.
Earlier this week, Switzerland’s government got involved. On 3 July 2018, a parliamentary commission voted 17 to 4 in favour of a plan that would prevent distributors providing viewers with a recording function unless they first cut a deal with broadcasters.
If broadcasters get their way, distributors will either have to pay extra to offer recording or not offer it. This would likely leave viewers paying far more for the privilege of recording and fast forwarding.
So far the government hasn’t reached conclusion and the issue will be looked at again in August.