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Swisscom ups Cinetrade stake as TV subs climb

Swiss telco Swisscom has taken a majority stake in sports and film rights company Cinetrade, as it reported a 31% increase in TV customers in the first quarter of 2013. 

Under the deal, Swisscom increased its stake in Cinetrade – which it has held since 2005 – from 49% to 75%. Cinetrade, which holds film and sports rights for pay TV, video on demand and pay per view, will continue to operate under its existing management and will not be integrated into Swisscom.

Swisscom entered the TV business in 2011 and through its deal with Cinetrade offers viewers live sports events as well as films, documentaries and concerts on TV as well as on-demand from a number of devices.

At the same time as announcing the deal, Swisscom said in its Q1 earnings report that the number of Swisscom TV connections increased by 205,000 or 31.3% year-on-year to 860,000, for the three months ending March 31.

Almost half of Swisscom’s fixed broadband customers also use Swisscom TV, the firm said, while around 300,000 Swisscom TV customers are testing its replay function, which allows programmes from around 70 channels to be watched up to 30 hours after they have been broadcast.

For the quarter Swisscom’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation came in at CHF1.03 billion (€843 million), down 6.1% year-on-year, while net revenue was down 2.4% to CHF2.73 billion.