There is no doubting the attraction of sports to pay-TV operators, and that’s no different I the Nordic market where Telia has extended its agreement to show the Swedish Hockey League and NENT has prolonged the rights to show the NHL in the Nordic.
Add to that the acquisition by NENT of the Polish rights to the Bundesliga ahead of the 2021 launch of Viaplay in Poland.
The continued interest has led consultancy Mediavision to estimate that between 30 and 50% of the total Nordic pay TV turnover (traditional and online) is directly related to sports. The interest is such that Telia/C More has managed to extend its rights to the SHL through to the 2029/30 season in a contract reportedly worth up to SEK 5 billion.
Last week, NENT signed for the pan-Nordic NHL rights until 2026 – shortly after the same company had signed the agreement for the pan-Nordic rights to the Ice Hockey World Championship to 2028.
In the newly released Sports Analysis 2020, Mediavision points to ice hockey being a significant drive for both premium pay packages and ARPU. Close to 3 million in the Nordic countries have an explicit interest in watching ice hockey, making it the region’s second most popular sport. In Finland, hockey is outnumbering all other sports (a lower ranking in Denmark and Norway).
Mediavision analysis shows the highest viewing interest in Finland but the pay grade (the percentage of those interested that also pay) is equal in both Finland and Sweden. In Sweden, the SHL outnumbers the NHL in both interest and absolute number of payers, but the leagues attains equal pay grades.
On Tuesday, it was also announced that an agreement between Swedish public broadcaster SVT and Telia had been reached on an extended cooperation regarding the European Championship in football (2024-2028). The two have already shared the rights to the World Cup and European championships.