Tele Top turns down the NZZ

TeleOstschweiz and Schaffhauser TV hope for the TeleCombi

TeleOstschweiz and Schaffhauser TV hope for the TeleCombiBy Markus Knöpfli What is happening in the eastern Switzerland TV sector is also likely to have consequences for the print sector. The new Tele-Leader pool between Tele Top and TeleSüdostschweiz could drive the Schaffhauser Nachrichten, the Thurgauer Zeitung and the Winterthurer Landboten into the arms of the NZZ.
First things first: Tele Top and TeleSüdostschweiz announced last week that they would launch a new TV advertising combo for 750000 households from mid-June under the name Tele-Leader-Pool.
This pool not only covers the entire eastern and southeastern part of Switzerland - and thus also the broadcast area of TeleOstschweiz (220000 households) - but with a secondary tariff of CHF 42.50, it is also relatively cheaper than TeleOstschweiz (CHF 30).
Geographically and in terms of price, TeleOstschweiz is thus isolated. This is all the more explosive because Tele Top and TeleOstschweiz, which is ultimately backed by the NZZ, were still in cooperation talks until recently. But now Heuberger has shown the powerful NZZ the door.
Tele Top's managing director does not deny this and gives the following reasons: The cooperation proposal of the NZZ, which wanted to bring together TeleOstschweiz, Tele Top, Schaffhauser TV, Liechtenstein's Tele XML and the publishers Huber & Co. (Thurgauer Zeitung) and Ziegler Druck und Verlag (Winterthurer Landbote) under one roof was unacceptable to him. Tele Top was only granted a share of 33 percent, which was too little for him in view of the preponderance of publishers, says Heuberger.
He had therefore proposed a project in which NZZ and Tele Top would have had an equal share, and no one else. This, however, was not acceptable to the NZZ. Within a week, Heuberger reached an agreement with Hanspeter Lebrument of TeleSüdostschweiz on the Tele Leader pool.
TeleOstschweiz looks at
TeleCombi as more important
Anton Schaller, commissioned by TeleOstschweiz to try to coordinate TV in eastern Switzerland, explains the rejection of Heuberger's proposal as follows: One had wanted to include all those who wanted to make TV in Eastern Switzerland and not grant 50 percent to any shareholder. Moreover, Schaller does not see TeleOstschweiz in isolation. He says that a programming cooperation has been initiated with TeleSüdostschweiz, and the coordination partners snubbed by Heuberger will discuss this week how they will react. In addition, he said, TeleOstschweiz has submitted an application to join TeleCombi, on which a decision will be made at the end of June. "TeleCombi is much more important than the Tele-Leader pool," says Schaller. This is also confirmed by Christian Stärkle, the driving force behind TeleCombi (WW 17/00). He adds that Schaffhausen TV will probably also be included in TeleCombi at the end of June.
But according to Heuberger, TeleCombi also has a written request from Tele Top. Stärkle, on the other hand, only knows of a verbal request. In addition, sub-pools are prohibited at TeleCombi, which is why Tele Top has now presumably forfeited its membership, says the Tele-M1 boss.
TeleCombi with TeleOstschweiz and Schaffhauser TV, but without Tele Top? Whatever the outcome of this matter, it is likely to have consequences in the print sector: The fact that Heuberger does not want to join an eastern Swiss TV project à la NZZ poses a certain threat to the small publishers in Schaffhausen, Thurgau and Winterthur: Everything that Tele Top rips off from the regional advertising pie will be lost to them. In this situation, the NZZ can now profile itself as an advocate for the small ones with its TV proposal. With calculation: In the long term, the small companies are forced to cooperate at least among themselves. But should a joint TV project definitely fail, a joint regional newspaper would also be an alternative. In this case, the NZZ would undoubtedly be happy to stand by - even if Schaller still calls such a scenario "too far-fetched.
A TV project by the four publishers, but without Tele Top, would have two catches: The consequence would be a rift between Heuberger and Huber & Co. The Tele Top boss made this clear to WerbeWoche. And the Thurgau publishing house would not be indifferent to this: it has a stake in Radio Top. A rift could also open the door to the Top Group for TA-Media, which is already involved with Heuberger via Radio Zürisee in the radio leader pool.
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