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Viaplay Group AB
FormerlyNordic Entertainment Group (2018–2022)
Company typePublicly traded Aktiebolag
Nasdaq StockholmVPLAY A, VPLAY B
IndustryMedia, radio, streaming, TV
Founded1 July 2018; 5 years ago (2018-07-01)
HeadquartersStockholm, Sweden
Key people
  • Jorgen Madsen Lindemann (CEO)
  • Enrique Patrickson (CFO)
Brands
RevenueDecreaseSEK 12,003 billion (2020)
Increase SEK 3,186 billion (2020)
Increase SEK 2,226 billion (2020)
Total assetsIncrease SEK 15,949 billion (2020)
Total equityIncrease SEK 3,236 billion (2020)
OwnerCanal+ Group (Vivendi) (29%)
PPF (29%)
Number of employees
1,708 (2020)
Websitewww.viaplaygroup.com

Viaplay Group AB, formerly known as Nordic Entertainment Group AB (NENT Group), is a Swedish media and entertainment company headquartered in Stockholm.

The company operates the video streaming services Viaplay, advertising-funded TV and radio channels, as well as the studio production company Viaplay Studios. Viaplay Group was founded in 2018 as a spinoff from MTG. Viaplay Group's first day as a publicly traded company was on 28 March 2019 listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange.[1]

History

In March 2018, the Stockholm-headquartered entertainment company Modern Times Group (MTG) initiated a process to split into two companies by spinning off its then Nordic Entertainment and MTG Studios business segments plus Splay Networks into a new company. This was initiated after Danish telecommunications operator TDC A/S, which had proposed to buy these assets a month earlier, was itself acquired by the Australian private equity investor Macquarie Group. Anders Jensen, previously MTG Executive Vice President and CEO of Nordic Entertainment, was named president and CEO of NENT Group 2018. On 5 June, Jørgen Madsen Lindemann was named President and CEO of Viaplay Group.[2]

NENT Group began operating separately on 1 July 2018.[3] On 28 March 2019, shares in Nordic Entertainment Group started trading on Nasdaq Stockholm exchange.[4]

NENT Group took a stake in Erik Feig's Picturestart studio along with first look Nordic rights to its content at Picturestart's May 2019 launch.[5]

On 5 May 2020, Pay-TV satellite platform Viasat, which was previously owned by NENT Group, merged with Canal Digital to form Allente. The merger means that NENT Group and Telenor Group owns Allente TV 50% each, but it operates on its own as an independent company. Through the merger, NENT Group's channels, including the V channels, were made available on Allente's platform. NENT Group operated Pay-TV, the Viasat satellite platform in Scandinavia and offered both in-house and third party channels.

On 13 April 2021, the merger of Canal Digital and Viasat in Allente was completed.

On 16 September 2021, NENT Group announced the re-organisation of its studio operations, previously called NENT Studios, as Viaplay Studios. With Viaplay Studios, the company announced that the main focus of the studio operations onwards is content production for the Viaplay streaming platform.[6]

On 18 May 2022, the company's shareholders approved the change of the company's name to Viaplay Group.[7] In July 2022, Viaplay Group acquired U.K.-based sports streamer and pay TV channel operator, Premier Sports, for $36 million[8]

In July 2023, Vivendi's Canal+ Group acquired a 12% minority stake in Viaplay Group for an undisclosed amount of money.[9] In January 2024, Canal+, in association with PPF, increased its stake to 29%, planning to raise 4 billion krona ($391 million) in order to write down 2 billion krona of debt and renegotiate terms of debt totalling an estimated 14.6 billion krona.[10]

In November 2023, it was announced that Viaplay Group sold its U.K.-based sports streamer and pay TV channel operator, Premier Sports back to SSBL Limited, just a little over a year after they had become Viaplay channels.[11]

Company structure

The streaming service Viaplay in the Nordics

Viaplay Group operates the streaming service (SVOD) Viaplay, which launched as Viasat OnDemand in Sweden 2007, in 2011 it was rebranded Viaplay.[12]

Viaplay Group previously operated Viafree, a free streaming service (AVOD) in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden.[3] On 29 November 2021, NENT Group announced that Viafree will soon to be part of Paramount Global (under Pluto TV), with the announcement that the said AVOD streamer will be integrated into Pluto TV on 18 May 2022.[13]

On 1 April 2020, Viaplay launched in Iceland, as the final Nordic market to launch the streaming service, making Viaplay available in all Nordic countries,[14] which was first announced in 2019.[15][16]

On 24 June 2020, Viaplay's Finnish service merged with rival Elisa Viihde Aitio, owned by Elisa, to form Elisa Viihde Viaplay.[17]

Viaplay international expansion

At Viaplay Group's Capital Markets Day in November 2020, the company presented its 5-year expansion plan, with targets of 10 added international markets by 2023 (to a total of 15 markets) and a total of 10.5 Million subscribers by 2025.[18][19] On the following year's CMD, in 2021, Viaplay Group raised the targets to launching Viaplay on at least 16 markets by 2023 and had the subscription target raised to 12 Million subscribers by 2025.[20][21]

On 11 February 2021, Viaplay Group announced that the company had raised SEK 4.35 Billion to support the company's vision of launching Viaplay on 10 markets by the end of 2023, in line with the communicated expansion plan which was announced on the company's 2020 Capital Markets Day. Poland and the US were presented as two of the new markets, along with Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania that had already announced.[22][23][24]

On 9 March 2021, Viaplay launched in the Baltics, adding Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.[25]

On 20 May 2021, Viaplay Group announced the launch of Viaplay in the Netherlands in the first quarter of 2022 with exclusive Formula One, Bundesliga and Professional Darts Corporation darting events rights.[26][27] Less than two months later, the company also announced that it had acquired the rights to the English Premier League in the Netherlands.[28]

On 3 August 2021, the company launched Viaplay in Poland with premium sports rights, and announced the three first Viaplay Originals’ productions in Polish – Polish Murderesses, Black Dog and Freedom of the Swallow.[29][30]

On 22 September 2021, Viaplay Group announced that Viaplay will launch in at least 16 markets by end of 2023, including the UK in the second half of 2022, and Canada, Germany, Austria and Switzerland in 2023.[31] On Viaplay Group’s Capital Markets Day in November 2022, it was announced that the launches in the US and Canada will proceed as planned, while the direct-to-consumer launch in Germany, Austria and Switzerland will wait due to the economic world situation.[32]

In July 2022, Viaplay Group has announced that they're officially acquired Premier Sports prior to the UK launch. The channel, which also include FreeSports, will soon to be rebrand as Viaplay Sports network.[33]

On 1 November 2022, the streaming service launched in the UK. [34]

On 22 February 2023, the direct-to-consumer app launched in the US with a clear focus on premium European content.

On 7 March 2023, Viaplay launched in Canada taking its footprint to 13 direct-to-consumer markets.[35][36]

Viaplay Select

In 2022, Viaplay Group created Viaplay Select, a branded content concept for partner platforms.[37] In less than a year after the first deal was signed had Viaplay Select already launched on 20+ markets.[38] Viaplay Select can be found with partners around the world, primarily in countries where the streaming service Viaplay is not available direct-to-consumer. It means that partners get access to a wide selection of Viaplay’s successful series, films and documentaries, together with curated third-party content from across the Nordic region. The content is made available in a branded Viaplay section within the partner platform. [39]

Advertising funded television (Free-TV)

Viaplay Group operates advertising funded channels in Scandinavia. Typically, the portfolio structure for these channels is one primary channel (TV3), and then secondary channels (TV6, TV3+ etc...) These channels generate primarily advertising revenues, and are classified as free-TV, but are encrypted and subject to decoding fees.

Networks in Scandinavia[3]

Channel type Sweden Norway Denmark
General TV3 TV3 TV3
General secondary TV6 TV3+ TV3+
Supplementary TV8
TV10
TV6 TV3 Puls
TV3 Max
TV3 Sport
See

Viaplay TV (Netherlands)

On 2 April 2024, Viaplay Group announced a partnership with Talpa under which channel SBS9 will be renamed Viaplay TV effective 5 April 2024. The channel will cross-promote the Viaplay streaming service by featuring broadcasts of selected sports properties from the service, such as Formula One, PDC darts, and Premier League football.[40]

Pay television

TV services

On 5 May 2020, the merger between Canal Digital and Viasat Consumer was completed, and formed Allente - the Viasat satellite platform[3] in Scandinavia, offering both in-house and third party channels. By owning a 50% stake in the TV distributor Allente, Nordic Entertainment Group  distributes its pay-TV channels including V sports, V series and V film in Scandinavia.

The sports channels available in the different Scandinavian countries differ somewhat depending on different rights held for different markets and different business agreements.

The following channels are available in each country:

Sweden Denmark Norway Finland
V film premiere V film premiere V film premiere V film premiere
V film action V film action V film action V film action
V film hits V film hits V film hits V film hits
V film family (SD) V film family (SD) V film family (SD) V film family (SD)
V series V series V series V sport+ Suomi
V sport extra V sport golf V sport + V sport 1 Suomi
V sport premium V sport ultra HD V sport 1 V sport 2 Suomi
V sport football V sport live (SD) V sport 2 V sport premium
V sport vinter V sport 3 V sport 1
V sport motor V sport golf V sport football
V sport 1 V sport ultra HD V sport vinter
V sport golf V sport live (SD) V sport golf
V sport ultra HD V sport Premier League V sport ultra HD
V sport live (SD) V sport Premier League 1 V sport live (SD)
V sport Premier League 2
V sport Premier League 3
V sport Premier League 4

Radio

Viaplay Group owns several radio networks and stations in Sweden and Norway:

Rix FM, national network in Sweden (FM & DAB+) P6 Rock, national network in Norway (DAB+)
Star FM, national network in Sweden (FM & DAB+) P7 Klem, national network in Norway (DAB+)
Bandit Rock, station in Stockholm and Uppsala P8 Pop, national network in Norway (DAB+)
Lugna Favoriter, station in Stockholm (FM & DAB+) P9 Retro, national network in Norway (DAB+)
Power Hit Radio, station in Stockholm (DAB+) P10 Country, national network in Norway (DAB+)
I Like Radio, streaming service in Sweden (Internet)[3] P11 Bandit, national network in Norway (internet)
P4 Radio Hele Norge, national network in Norway (DAB+) NRJ Norge, national network in Norway (DAB+)
P5 Hits, national network in Norway (DAB+)

Viaplay Studios

Viaplay Studios consists of the following companies as of 30 September 2021:[42] [43]

On 29 January 2020, NENT Studios announced that they were looking to sell off their unscripted labels to focus on scripted productions.[48] However, the attempts were interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, before NENT Studios decided to resume them shortly after changing the name of their British division DRG to NENT Studios UK on 30 April of that year.[49] All3Media would later acquire NENT Studios UK on 11 June 2021[50] and merge it into their All3Media International division, while Fremantle would later that they would take over NENT's unscripted operations the following month;[51] the acquisition was completed at the end of September 2021.[42] On 16 September 2021 (2 weeks before Fremantle acquired NENT's unscripted labels), NENT Studios was renamed Viaplay Studios and restructured to produce content for the Viaplay SVOD service, with Brain Academy and Nice Drama being merged to form Viaplay Studios Sweden and NENT Studios Animation renamed Viaplay Studios Animation.[41]

References

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