tv time shifting fees init7 2022
Telecom News

Will TV Time Shifting Now Cost Extra?

January 17, 2022 - Ralf Beyeler

Time shifting is one of the most popular digital television functions. Now, Init7 has become the first service provider to charge extra for this feature. Other telecom service providers will likely take similar steps.

You come home in the evening looking forward to watching a TV show which broadcast the day before. Thanks to TV time shifting, you can watch your show at the click of a button. Now, TV stations are charging higher royalties to telecom companies which let their subscribers use time shifting.

The TV time shifting royalty is increasing from 2 francs per month to 7 francs per month. The reason for this is that TV stations have been able to massively raise the royalty with the introduction of the common tariff 12 (GT12). Instead of charging the royalty directly to consumers, TV stations charge it to telecom service providers, which then pass it on to subscribers. Now consumers are feeling the impact of the higher tariff for the first time, as a first telecom company introduces changes to its time shifting service.

TV time shifting now costs 11 francs per month

Internet service provider Init7 has, up until now, included time shifting as a complimentary service with TV plans. Now, subscribers who want to continue to use time shifting have to pay extra. The function will now be offered as an optional extra for 11 francs per month. Customers can continue to use their TV plans without time shifting free of charge.

Even when value added tax (VAT) is accounted for, the 11-franc fee includes a markup of 3.20 francs on top of the 7-franc monthly royalty charged by TV stations. Init7 cites the high costs associated with implementing the change as justification for the markup.

Other telecom providers will likely follow suit

Other TV service providers like Quickline, Sunrise, Swisscom, Teleboy, UPC, Wilmaa, and Zattoo are also affected by the introduction of the GT12. But they do not necessarily need to pay higher royalties for TV time shifting. They can also choose to continue to offer their subscribers time shifting but remove the fast-forward function. Another option is to move to personalized advertising which cannot be skipped.

With the exception of Init7, did not get precise answers from TV and telecom service providers about how the GT12 will impact their offers. Salt says that a price increase is unavoidable. Sunrise says that it will announce the design and implementation of its changes, as well as pricing, at a given time.

TV stations are destroying TV time shifting

“It is very sad that broadcasters have chosen to destroy TV time shifting, which is very popular with consumers,” says Ralf Beyeler from “Time shifting is one of the most important functions in digital TV. For many customers, time shifting is a reason to continue using television at all,” says Beyeler.

The expert is convinced that TV producers are only damaging themselves. “Consumers have gotten used to time shifting. Many of them are not ready to begin paying around 10 francs per month for time shifting, nor to be force-fed advertisements. When less people use time shifting, TV stations lose their viewers – and subsequently their revenues – to the likes of YouTube and Netflix,” analyses Beyeler.

Beyeler believes that Inti7’s strategy, which experts believe other providers will also adopt, is a good one. If customers want to continue using time shifting, they can do so by paying an extra fee. To pass the high time shifting royalties on to subscribers who do not use this service would be unfair. In many cases, there are alternatives for Swiss viewers: Many shows are available in the media libraries made available by TV stations. SRF and German public broadcasters, for example, do not even include advertisements in their media library content, and you can rewind or fast forward at any time.

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Expert Ralf Beyeler
Ralf Beyeler is the telecom expert at and also covers other areas of personal finance.