Viasat has signed a long term agreement with Swedish cableco Com Hem to market and sell its premium pay-TV channels to all 1.65 million of its subscribers.
The agreement is based on similar ‘virtual operator’ agreements already in place with Telia in Sweden, Telenor in Sweden and Norway, Elion in Estonia, as well as with Tele2’s cable TV operation in Sweden.
Com Hem is the largest TV distributor in Sweden, representing 40% of the country’s households. The cableco already offers pay-TV packages including Viasat’s free-TV and pay-TV channels, as well as the TV1000 movie and Viasat Sport packages. The new agreement will in due course enable Com Hem’s customers to subscribe to the full Viasat Gold package, which includes all of Viasat’s own-branded free-TV and pay-TV channels including some third party channels. The Viasat Gold package is a bundled combination of Viasat’s Premium package and Com Hem’s Medium package.
Hans-Holger Albrecht, President and CEO of Viasat’s parent MTG, said the agreement would enable Viasat to access 90% of cable households in Sweden and 75% of IPTV households, in addition to its existing satellite platform. “This is all part of our “anytime anywhere” strategy, whereby we strive to make our channels as broadly available on as many distribution platforms as possible, and illustrates the growing demand for our leading premium pay-TV packages”.
The agreement will also add the Viasat OnDemand video offering to Com Hem’s digital customers.
Separately, Com Hem will benefit from the launch of a new free-to-air sports channel Viasat is launching in the Swedish market. TV10 will go to air in time for the UEFA Euro 2010 qualification game between Sweden and San Marino, which will be broadcast live on the new channel on September 7.