UPC Cablecom buys Swiss cable network

Jörn Krieger ©RapidTVNews | 02-11-2011

Swiss commune Riehen wants to sell its local cable network to Switzerland's largest cable operator UPC Cablecom.
The subsidiary of US media company Liberty Global has won a public tender, the commune based in the north-western part of the country announced. Financial details have not been disclosed.
The decision to spin off the network was made because the Swiss cable industry was undergoing massive changes, the commune explained. As the development in the telco market develops quickly and the demands on communications networks rise, high investments would be necessary in future.
In particular due to the liberalisation of the market the question arose whether the communication network was part of the commune's core business, the statement said. After evaluating the chances and risks, the council decided to sell the network and its whole infrastructure.
The cable network, which the commune of Riehen has been operating since 1975, currently contains 56 analogue TV channels and 43 analogue radio stations. UPC Cablecom has already been a contract partner of the commune: The company supplements the analogue line-up with another 170 digital TV channels as well as internet and telephony services. UPC Cablecom also delivers the analogue channels and handles maintenance of the network.
The commune stresses that the sale won't have direct consequences for the approximately 9,000 cable customers. UPC Cablecom has agreed to maintain the current cable contract terms for the existing customers until the end of 2015. New customers will be offered UPC Cablecom's regular subscription tariffs.
The sale is planned to take place in early 2012.