Teleclub rebrands as Blue+, armed with new LaLiga rights deal

Swiss pay-television broadcaster Teleclub has rebranded as Blue+ as part of an overhaul put in place by owner Swisscom, the telecoms operator.

Along with the renaming of Teleclub, which offers films, series and documentaries as well as live sport, the erstwhile Swisscom TV service has been renamed Blue TV.

The rebrand evokes memories of Bluewin TV, the name given to Swisscom’s IPTV service when it launched 14 years ago (before rebranding as Swisscom TV in 2009).

The subscription price for the ‘Blue Sport’ package remains CHF29.90 (€27.76/$32.46) per month, the same tariff charged previously.

Football rights held by Blue+ include the domestic Swiss Super League, Uefa Champions League, Europa League, the English Premier League, France’s Ligue 1, Italy’s Serie A and Spain’s LaLiga.

The Swiss pay-television broadcaster has also retained rights to LaLiga from 2020-21 onwards and will show all matches from the Spanish top flight. An invitation to tender for the rights was issued in Switzerland in June, covering five seasons and also including the non-exclusive rights in Liechtenstein.

Teleclub picked up sublicensed rights to LaLiga at the start of this year in a deal with OTT subscription broadcaster DAZN. That agreement allowed Teleclub to air two matches per matchweek.

DAZN acquired rights in Switzerland, Germany and Austria ahead of its launch in the three countries in 2016, before retaining the rights in April 2018.

Sports content on Blue+ will also be available on a pay-per-view basis.

In addition, the broadcaster said that it is increasing its in-house sports content production with “interesting background information and discussions to accompany the top-flight European leagues, the Uefa Champions League and top Swiss football among other features”.

Blue+ subscribers can access UPC’s MySports channels following a landmark distribution deal signed between Swisscom and rival telco UPC in July.

In 2016, UPC acquired rights to the top Swiss ice hockey league, from 2017-18 to 2021-22, which had previously been held by Teleclub. This was UPC’s first foray into the Swiss sports rights market and signalled the start of the rivalry.

Blue+ will be looking to hold on to its rights to Swiss football’s Super League and second-tier Challenge League from 2021-22 onwards in the invitation to tender process recently initiated by the Swiss Football League. Broadcasters were sent the relevant ITT documents on September 14.

Blue TV is available through Swisscom’s set-top box or as an app on smartphones and tablets or as a web player on laptops.

A smart TV app will also be available on Samsung devices from the start of October with other television manufacturers, including LG Electronics, to follow suit. An app will also be available on UPC’s set-top boxes in the coming weeks with a launch on competing products to follow in 2021.

Swisscom TV’s subscriber total stood at 1.55 million at the end of June, down slightly on the figure of 1.56 million reported at the end of last year.