Swiss Internet service provider Green.ch has launched a new IPTV service, GreenTV. The service allows viewers to watch and record TV programmes and pause live TV and provides a catch-up TV service with content from the previous 26 hours from 15 channels. Subscribers can record up to 20 hours of play time via a network DVR, with an additional 20 hours available at the cost of CHF 4 per month.
The basic package, 'GreenTV First', contains 50 national and international TV channels at a price of CHF 18 per month and a one-off set-up fee of CHF 199. The cost of the set top box is included in the monthly subscription fee, whilst additional set top boxes are charged at CHF 15 a month with a set-up fee of CHF 149 for each box. Consumers can buy two additional packages, focusing on English-language and Balkans channels (via their remote control for immediate access), without the need for a monthly subscription fee.
Registration for subscription has commenced, with an expected delivery time of mid-December for the first set-top boxes. Set-top boxes are delivered ready for operation and come with a home install kit. Service is launching with a free trial of two months, after which consumers can return their set top boxes if unsatisfied at no cost.
Green.ch's move into the IPTV market places it in direct competition with more established IPTV providers such as Swisscom. Swisscom currently has a subscription base of 317,000 for its IPTV service Swisscom TV, and holds a 58 per cent market share of broadband subscribers, compared to only 1.4 per cent held by the Green Group.
Swisscom TV offers a basic package of 150 channels, including an HD channel and exclusive live sports for CHF 19 per month (CHF 29 per month when including DVR capabilities). Given the wider range of channels and Swisscom's brand name, GreenTV will face difficulty when in direct competition with Swisscom; however the price-point for 'GreenTV First' is a significant discount on that charged for a basic cable connection by incumbent cable operator Cablecom.
GreenTV's additional packages target a niche market, as it focuses on foreign language channels. A 'Balkans' package is available at CHF 5, which includes BN Sat (Bosnian), DM Sat TV (Serbian), RTK 1 (Albanian), RTS Sat (Serbian) and TRT Turk (Turkish). An 'English' package is also available at a cost of CHF 10, consisting of 10 English channels. Although such an approach is no way to achieve mass market success, a niche package bundle does give the company an element of a competitive advantage over larger and more established players when targeting the expat market.
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