Teleclub secures exclusive Uefa club rights in Switzerland

Swiss pay-TV broadcaster Teleclub has been awarded exclusive rights to Uefa club competitions from 2021-22 to 2023-24 in a deal announced today (Friday).

The broadcaster will continue its extensive coverage of the Uefa Champions League and Europa League during the new three-season cycle and has also picked up rights to Europa Conference League, the new third-tier tournament.

The deal means that SRG SSR, the powerful Swiss public broadcaster and incumbent free-to-air rights-holder, has not been awarded any rights.

However, Wolfgang Elsässer, chief executive of Teleclub and parent company Cinetrade, said that discussions would be held in due course “with potential partners” with a view to “various co-operation approaches”.

During the last Swiss rights auction in 2017, in which the overall rights fee more than trebled, Teleclub increased its exclusivity but Team Marketing, Uefa’s sales agency for club competitions, did award a package of rights to SRG SSR. The public broadcaster retained rights to one of its two Champions League matches per match week (from 2018-19 to 2020-21) and also secured a package of Europa League rights.

During that sales process, Teleclub acquired exclusive rights to both the Champions League and Europa League finals for the first time. The pay-TV operator went on to offer free-to-air coverage of the 2018-19 finals on its Teleclub Zoom channel.

Team initiated its sales process in Germany, Austria and Switzerland on October 30 and set a first-round bid deadline of December 3.

In completing a deal now for the new rights cycle, Teleclub will have been able to assess the impact of the recent free-to-air rights agreements in both Germany and Austria.

Free-to-air channels from both countries are available to Swiss residents via basic cable television.

ZDF, the German public broadcaster, has secured match highlights on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and rights to the final. ORF, its Austrian equivalent, is set to secure rights to the second-pick Europa League fixture.

ServusTV, the Red Bull-owned commercial network, has acquired non-exclusive live rights in Austria to the first-pick Wednesday Champions League match and the final, as well as highlights, plus the first-pick Europa League match.

Swiss viewers can watch ServusTV as a digital cable channel on UPC Cablecom or Quickline, or via Swisscom TV’s IPTV service.