Modern Times Group (MTG) is a digital entertainment company based in Stockholm, Sweden. It formed from the media holdings of investment company Kinnevik, which in 1997 was distributed to the company stockholders. It is a strategic and operational investment holding company, managing a portfolio including gaming companies InnoGames, Ninja Kiwi and Kongregate, and digital network company Zoomin.TV.
Kinnevik distributed the MTG shares to its shareholders in 2018 and in 2019 MTG distributed shares in the newly founded Nordic Entertainment Group (now Viaplay Group) to its shareholders following the strategic transformation into a global digital entertainment company.
Since July 2015, MTG's digital presence was expanded through a number of acquisitions. In 2015 MTG bought 74% of the shares in Turtle Entertainment, a top-tier esports tournament operator, owning brands such as Electronic Sports League (ESL). MTG then acquired 51% of the shares in Zoomin.TV, Europe's largest MCN and the 5th largest network on YouTube. Later the same year MTG made the acquisition of 100% of DreamHack, one of the biggest esports tournament organisers in the world. In 2016 and 2017 MTG continued its journey by acquiring 35% of a leading German games developing company InnoGames and U.S. based games publishing company Kongregate. Since the start of its investment operations, MTG has made further share acquisitions in the before-mentioned companies.
In 1987, TV3 launches in Sweden on New Year's Eve becoming the first commercial channel in Scandinavia. In 1988 the channel started broadcasting to Norway and Denmark. The number of viewers increases from 1.2 million at launch to 3.4 million at the end of 1988.
In 1988, Strix launches independent TV production.
October: MTG sold Russian & international pay-TV channels (factual, movie and sports channels in Russia. TV1000 and pan-regional factual channels in international) to Baring Vostok Company in international and LLC Sinerdzhi in Russia.
December: MTG and minoritaries sold 75% CTC Media to ″UTH Holding″ in Russia.
March: MTG sold Ukrainian pay-TV company Viasat Ukraine to 1+1 Media Group. In Latvia, Russian-language channel TV5 closed down.
May: MTG took a 22 per cent stake in Engage Sports Media (ESM). ESM described the deal as a ‘strategically important investment’ that will allow ESM to accelerate its growth and focuses on content IP development, technical tools and adding new talent across the business. Arnd Benninghoff, CEO of MTGx said “this investment reflects our focus on becoming the leading digital video entertainment company in each of our markets, and our strategy to invest in relevant, complementary and scalable digital brands, content and communities.”
August: For the Nordic Market, Viasat launches Scandinavia's first UHD Channel to deliver select Rio 2016 OL programs (and future UHD Sports Broadcasts) as well as a new HD Sports Channel branded "Viasat Sport Premium.",
October: MTG acquires 35% in German games developer Innogames
December: MTG sold African business (Viasat 1 (Ghana), TV1 (Tanzania) and Modern African Production (MAP)) to Econet Media Group.
January: MTG sold FTV Prima Holding to Denemo Media (part of GES GROUP). In April 2017, the transaction was completed.
December: MTG secured the exclusive Nordic media rights to the five-a-side-football variant Futsal's biggest European tournament, UEFA Futsal Euro 2018.
December: MTG launched a $30 million gaming investment fund.
January: MTG sold TRACE Media Group to TPG Growth. In May 2018, the transaction was completed.
February: MTG business in Scandinavia (MTG Nordic Entertainment and MTG Studios) combination with TDC Group proposed. MTG sold Nova Broadcasting Group in Bulgaria to PPF Group.
March: Board of Directors of TDC Group withdraws its recommendation of combination with MTG Nordics. Modern Times Group (MTG) will split into two companies: Nordic Entertainment Group (MTG Nordic Entertainment, MTG Studios and Splay Networks) and new MTG company (MTGx).
May: MTG increased the share in Zoom.in Group B.V. (Zoomin.TV) from 51% to 100%.
In March of 2021, MTG acquired Ninja Kiwi, allowing them to expand their business into the tower defense genre.
In July 2021, MTG acquired 100% of the shares of PlaySimple, expanding MTG's business into the casual games and word games genres.
In January 2022, MTG sold ESL to Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund Savvy Gaming Group (SGG). SGG also acquired FACEIT, and will merge the two esports companies to form the ESL FaceIt Group. The acquisition is set to close in Q2 2022.