Will be the law on Netflix


An important stone will fall for Swiss film on Monday: The National Council's cultural commission is negotiating a new law that is supposed to make more money available for domestic filmmaking.

Minister of Culture Alain Berset wants to charge streaming services, Swiss private broadcasters and cable network operators with a fee.

With the new "Lex Netflix", the major US streaming services such as Netflix, Google Play, Disney and Apple TV are to be obliged to invest in Swiss films. It's about four percent of their local sales. That could stream six million francs into the coffers of Swiss film producers every year. That is almost 20 percent of federal film funding.

However, the template threatens to crash, as the “Tages-Anzeiger” found out. Not because of Netflix. When it comes to the streaming service, the idea is not that bad Ivo grief, Head of Film at the Federal Office of Culture, in a conversation with Netflix. There, the Swiss solution is valued as having a say in funding more liberally than, for example, in Germany or France, where the compulsory levy for Netflix is ​​already a reality.

Opposition has long been threatening from Swisscom, UPC and Teleboy. These would also be asked to pay for their video-on-demand offers.

Unlike the big ones from the USA, you couldn't get over the levy there so easily. "There is a risk that the innovation of Swiss companies will be stifled because you want to force the big American companies to subsidize films," warns Alexander Schmid, Managing Director of the Swissstream industry association, which also includes Swisscom and Sunrise.

Specifically, that means: If the domestic streaming offers are too heavily loaded, some would have to give up. Which ironically could just strengthen the power of Netflix again.

Private TV broadcasters in Switzerland are also lobbying against the new law. The levy would endanger the existence of the private broadcasters, fears Roger Elsener, TV boss at CH Media.

In the 25-member culture commission, this fear is shared mainly in the middle-class camp. One advocate in the commission, however, is the SP National Council Matthias Aebischer. For the Cinésuisse President, the law could lead to “more Swissness” coming onto the screens of Netflix and the like.

In fact, a few Swiss films have already made it onto Netflix. However, only films that have already attracted a large audience in the cinema. «Wolkenbruch's wonderful journey into the arms of a Schickse» by Michael Steiner based on the bestseller by Thomas Meyer has been accepted into the illustrious circle of Netflix films.

Thanks to the mediation of Marc Schmidheinys DCM film production in Berlin, which has a connection to Netflix. "The divine order" is also streamed on Netflix Petra Volpe or «Mario», the story of the coming-out of a footballer from Marcel Gisler. In addition, international co-productions such as “Night Train to Lisbon” by Zurich-based C-Films or Bettina Oberlis «Tannöd». And “The Undertaker” was also shown on Netflix for a while.

You can find more Swiss works for a fee on the streaming portals artfilm.ch, myfilm.ch, cinefile.ch or cinematheque.ch.

There were no friends for the new submission among those who wrote "20 Minuten". Of over 80 comments on an article over the weekend, about two were positive. One said that with “farmer, single, looking” we had “already enough Swiss film culture” on our private channels.