Swiss cablenet Cablecom is adding nine new English language channels to its digital line-up. BBC Three, BBC Four, CBBC, CBeebies, ITV3, ITV4, E4, More 4 and Five are joining the digital package that already includes domestic channels BBC One, ITV1 and ITV2.
Cablecom is taking advantage of Swiss copyright laws that allow for the retransmission of any channel that is available over satellite and transmitted in the clear. The cablenet confirmed to Broadband TV News that no agreements were in place with any of the channels.
A spokeswoman for Channel 4 confirmed the broadcaster was aware of the transmissions. “It is an unlicensed deal, but there are difficulties with Swiss law that makes this difficult for us to pursue.” In 2004 the BBC launched proceedings against the smaller operator GGA Maur in an attempt to cap the distribution. The corporation ultimately lost the case in the Swiss High Court.
The Liberty Global-owned operator says that the channels have been added to meet public demand. German channels ZDF infokanal, Eins Extra, Bibel TV and K-TV are also joining the line-up that will also include Austrian music channel gotv.
Cablecom now broadcasts 110 digital channels including four in the HD format.