The merger of Viasat with Canal Digital has been completed, bringing to an end three decades of competition between the satellite-based pay-TV operators at 5 degrees East and 1 degree West.
The combined company and its consumer offering will be known as Allente. It will bring together Consumer, Nordic Entertainment Group (NENT Group)’s satellite pay-TV and broadband-TV business, with Canal Digital, Telenor Group’s satellite pay-TV business.
The announcement follows approval by the European Commission on April 30.
Allente will offer TV distribution via satellite, streaming and other services including IPTV and fibre broadband via open networks to a total of 1.2 million customers in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland. It will have 400 employees across Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland, and will be co-headquartered in Stockholm and Oslo.
“The TV industry is developing tremendously, however it is not every day that a new, major TV distributor enters into the playing field. We are incredibly proud of our employees and the efforts they have put in lately. It is impressive to see everyone’s ‘can do’ spirit and how they always put customers first. We are looking forward to continue doing so in Allente,” says CEO of Allente, Bjørn Ivar Moen.
NENT Group and Telenor Group each own 50% of the shares in Allente, which will operate at an arm’s length from NENT Group and Telenor Group. It will distribute the Viasat pay-TV channels that will be rebranded as V from June and continue to be made available to third party platforms.
Anders Jensen (pictured), NENT Group President and CEO said: “We are a streaming company and our new long-term distribution deal with Allente means that our Viaplay subscriber base will grow even more this year. A total of more than 2.5 million Nordic subscribers were paying for Viaplay at the end of Q1 and, with the stated ambition of 400k net new subscribers in 2020, we will come close to 3 million paying subscribers across the Nordics by the end of the year.”
Streaming service Viaplay will be made available to the “vast majority” of Allente’s subscribers over time. 476,000 direct-to-consumer subscribers were already paying for Viaplay subscriptions at the end of March, Canal Digital made the streaming service available to its customers at the end of March. Separately, 364k third party network subscribers had Viaplay as part of their pay-TV packages at the end of March.
On this basis, NENT Group would have had a total of 2,510k paying Viaplay subscribers at the end of March.