Zattoo is a software for the transmission of television and radio channels via the Internet. Developed by scientists and programmers, it is in Ann Arbor and Zurich with a focus on a use in Europe. The service can be used free of charge by prior registration. First, just about the same proprietary software available, the content can be played since April 2009 directly through the web browser as a Flash video streams in H.264 standard. The service is available now on all systems on which web browsers will work with installed Adobe Flash.


Zattoo took over the operation for the FIFA World Cup 2006, initially with four free- Swiss television channels. The network came in December 2006, the public usable beta stage. The Zattoo client was developed for the operating systems Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and Linux and made available for free download. Transmissions found while using the principle P2PTV place via a peer-to- peer network. The initially available Linux client has been temporarily suspended.

The offer has been extended until the summer of 2008 to more than 70 stations and is still under construction. Since June 2007, is switched into the log - Advertising financing for the bid when changing channels and during. During playback of some stations, such as France 24 and CNN, Google ads or other animated advertisements are displayed.

In Switzerland, the use of Zattoo was free and legally, despite the availability of several private channels. Since 1 September 2008, the Swiss Federal Office of Communications draws the fees for radio and television reception also among Internet users.

End of 2009, the peer-to -peer principle was abolished due to narrow upload rate of DSL connections. It was changed to direct server stream of Zattoo.

In June 2011, Zattoo registered a total of 8 million registered users, of which about 3 million in Germany and about 2 million users in Switzerland. The number of those who actively use the service, is estimated by Zattoo on " sometimes more than 1 million Internet surfers " per month.

In June 2012, transferred Zattoo, as well as the programs of public service broadcasters ARD and ZDF, the 2012 European Football Championship in the live stream on the Internet.


The service is available in Switzerland and in Germany, also in Denmark, Spain, the United Kingdom and France. An extension of the service to other European countries is planned. Thus, it was announced in November 2013 that the company " in the course of next year " to enter the market in Austria intended. It was on the lookout for cable operators as partners.

Zattoo has licenses for broadcast stations, so each transmitter is only available for users from the states for which there is a license. The software checks using geolocation of the IP address of the user's computer from which country the service is utilized, and only allows the reception of television programs licensed for this country. This has the consequence that e.g. the large German private broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 is not, however, to receive in Switzerland, in Germany.

After long negotiations, the public broadcasters and Zattoo have agreed to a one-year test phase for its entire range of programs via Zattoo. The public TV stations, some smaller private channels and 20 radio programs are distributed through the German version of Zattoo since 1 April 2008. Since April 1, 2009, the contract has expired with the public TV stations. For the time being the continued broadcasting, however, remains tolerated. On request was in April 2011 on the part of - but confirmed by e- mail, that between the ARD and Zattoo a cooperation agreement would be "Program Directorate viewers editorial Das Erste".

In Denmark Zattoo is a charge since September 2008, as the fees for the transfer there were five times higher than in other countries. This also applies to foreign stations. To offset some channels are broadcast in high definition.

When playing with one's own Zattoo software transferred contents are practically copy-protected. The data streams can be customized with the Zattoo player does not record, but such a function is planned. A recording of the stream is theoretically possible, but has not clarified the legal basis of the data format used, why was no software that makes this so far published. Since 2010 it's users the Swiss Zattoo version possible to record all receivable channels and each of these channels at first unlimited, now for 3 months to look at any time. This is chargeable. In February 2009, the Norwegian subsidiary was set. The reason Zattoo stated on the low incidence in Norway, the impossible do the advertising-financed operation in the current economic situation.

Transmitter bouquet


The following channels are available in Switzerland. Some channels (HD, Zattoo , Adult, Bosnian, Croatian, Polish, Turkish and Portuguese channels) can only be received with a corresponding subscription.


The following channels are available in Germany. HD channels (including public ) and all ( SD-/HD- ) RTL Group channels can be received only with the paid package HiQ. The RTL Group channels are also transmitted via fixed broadband internet access and not the cellular phone. The sender of the Pro7 - Sat.1 Group ( Pro 7, Sat.1, sixx, Kabel 1, etc.) are not receiving due to lack of retransmission agreements.