The use of strategic game framing is predominant in mainstream news reporting of politics. Nevertheless, systematic research on the specific antecedents of strategic game framing – especially in non-electoral periods – is scarce. Against this background, this quantitative content analysis of print, TV and online news investigates the antecedents of strategic game framing in a non-electoral context in two Western European countries – Austria and Switzerland. The study focuses on media type, online versus offline editions, and content-related variables as antecedents of the media’s framing of political news. Findings reveal that the highly competitive online environment, opinionated story types and issues focusing on the functioning of democracy fuel the use of the strategic game frame in political news coverage in non-electoral times. Furthermore, the results indicate that content-related predictors moderate the influence of media-related antecedents such as newspaper type. Implications of these findings are discussed.