Swisscom wins in ice hockey rights dispute with Sunrise 


The Swiss Federal Administrative Court has ruled in favour of Swisscom in a case where the telecommunications company challenged an agreement between cable operator UPC and Swiss ice hockey leagues the NLA and the NLB. 

UPC, which is now rebranded as Sunrise, reached an agreement for the competitions’ rights back in 2016 to screen them on its premium channel MySports. 

Swisscom, on the other hand, was eyeing subsidiary rights and entered negotiations with Sunrise, after which both failed to reach an agreement and took the issue to court. 

Sunrise was first sanctioned by Switzerland’s Competition Commission with SFr 29m (£26m) – a decision which has now been upheld by the court. This sum is close to what Sunrise is believed to be paying for the annual broadcasting rights, which is SFr 34m (£31m).

The court is now ordering Sunrise to make an offer either for the raw feed of its ice hockey coverage or for access to its MySports channel – pointing out the fact that it hasn’t approached Swisscom with a live ice hockey broadcasting offer for almost three years now.  

Sunrise on the other hand countered by saying that Swisscom is a very competitive entity and that it already has rights to a number of football matches. The case can be appealed at the Federal Court.

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