Viasat is to close its sports channel for the Norwegian market, SportN, replacing it with Viasat Fotboll.
SportN, which launched on November 29, 2005, will close next Monday, September 14. The joint venture was formed with the Norwegian public broadcaster NRK after a bitter battle for football rights from which Telenor and TV2 emerged as the eventual winners.
The closure of the channel marks a continuation of the Viasat strategy of theming its sports channels to particular events. In addition to new launch Viasat Football, there are also dedicated channels covering golf and motorsport, and a broad-based channel in the HD format.
These new channels are carried as premium, unlike SportN, which appeared in the basic packages of Get, RiksTV, and perhaps significantly, Canal Digital.
Viasat Fotboll will have coverage of the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, World Cup 2010 and the FA Cup.