|Type||Private (subsidiary of Telia)|
|Mathias Berg (CEO) |
|Revenue||3,86 Billion SEK (2012)|
|Owner||Telia Company (2019-present)|
Number of employees
|Parent||TV4 Media (2016-present)|
TV4 AB (formerly Nordisk Television AB; previously traded as TV4-gruppen) is a Swedish media company owned by Telia Company through TV4 Media (formerly known as Bonnier Broadcasting). The company owns the largest commercial television channel in Sweden, TV4.
From 2007 until 2019, TV4 AB was owned by Bonnier, with Bonnier Broadcasting AB being its parent since 2016. The stock used to be traded at the Stockholm Stock Exchange (OM), but was removed from the OM when Bonnier took full control of the company.
On 20 July 2018, Telia Company announced the acquisition proposal of the Bonnier Broadcasting, which includes this company, for 9.2 billion SEK (roughly US$1 billion). The acquisition was completed on December 2, 2019.
The company was founded in 1984 by Ingemar Leijonborg and Gunnar Bergvall as Nordisk Television AB ("Nordic Television"). They intended to start a Swedish commercial television channel.
It took several years for Leijonborg and Bergvall to find someone willing to invest in their channel, but it was eventually launched on September 15, 1990 as "TV4", broadcasting from the Tele-X satellite. A Norwegian sister channel, TV4 Norway, was also launched, but was sold a few years later.
At the time, it was clear that the government intended to launch a third terrestrial station and that it would be commercially funded. The two main competitors for the new channel were Nordisk Television and Kinnevik (owners of TV3). Eventually it was Nordisk Television who got the license since Kinnevik agreed to withdraw their application. In exchange, Kinnevik bought 30 percent of Nordisk Television and a company called Airtime AB was set up to sell advertising in TV3 and TV4, giving Kinnevik control of almost all television advertising in Sweden. TV4 could start broadcasting terrestrially in the spring of 1992. Nordisk Television discontinued the Airtime agreement in 1993, a decision followed by years of discussion between Kinnevik and the other owners of the company.
Nordisk Television started trading on the Stockholm Stock Exchange in 1994 and changed its legal name to TV4 AB.
With the terrestrial license followed an obligation to give some airtime to different local companies. This would regularly be owned by the TV4 Group in conjunction with local investors and media companies. With the start of TV4 Uppland the number of regional stations reached sixteen. Eventually, the TV4 Group started buying local stations and in 2001 they owned all but one, TV4 Fyrstad, which went bankrupt in 2003. The TV4 Group then merged all regional stations into a single entity, TV4 Sverige AB.
TV4 started broadcasting in the digital terrestrial television network in 1999. In 2001, the TV4 Group started an experimental interactive channel called Mediteve using the space on the digital multiplex. In 2003, a general entertainment channel called TV4 Plus was started. It was followed by TV4 Film in 2004, and TV400 and TV4 Fakta in 2005.
For several years, the TV channels of the TV4 AB wasn't a part of Kinnevik's digital satellite platform Viasat. However, in April 2005, TV4 Plus, TV4 Film and TV400 were launched on Viasat (the TV4 Group channel had to wait until 2006 due to contracts with the Canal Digital platform).
In the digital television franchise round of 2006, the TV4 Group applied for three new digital channels, but none of them were given a license. They did however launch two new channels in November 2006: TV4 Komedi and TV4 Guld.
In May 2006, the TV4 AB bought 51 percent of the sports channel Sport-Expressen from the newspaper Expressen. The ownership was increased to 66.2 percent in May 2007 and the channel was relaunched as TV4 Sport in September 2007.
In November 2006, it was announced that Bonnier and Proventus would buy the share in the TV4's operating company that was then held by Schibsted. The deal was approved in December 2006, making the TV4 almost entirely owned by Nordic Broadcasting Oy, a company owned jointly by Bonnier and Proventus. Proventus sold its shares in Nordic Broadcasting to Bonnier in March 2007, making it a fully owned subsidiary of Bonnier.
In early 2008, the company adopted its trade name, TV4-gruppen (lit. 'TV4 Group').
TV4 AB operates the following television channels:
The company also owns TV4 Sverige AB that owns all the 25 local stations (of which 13 were defunct in 2014 with 140 people laid off and the rest producing national news only Local news had moved to web only in 2013) and TV4 Digitala Medier that includes the TV4 Groups Text-TV (defunct as of 17 September 2019) and internet services like the websites tv4.se, nyheterna.se(redirecting to tv4.se as of at least 2021) and Fotbollskanalen , and on-demand service TV4 Play . The TV4 Group is also involved in the selling of merchandising, DVDs, CDs, magazines and books relating to the television programmes.
Laws in Sweden state that all television operators must carry the analogue version of TV4 (until 31 January 2008). As of 2005, TV4 is transmitted free-to-air on the digital terrestrial network while TV4 Plus, TV4 Film, TV400 and TV4 Fakta require subscription from Boxer, Canal Digital or Viasat via satellite, or cable TV from several cable networks, including Tele2Vision, Com Hem and Canal Digital. TV4 Plus is available in analogue form via most cable TV networks, while the others are mostly digital-only.
See also: List of Swedish television channels