Nordic Entertainment Group (NENT Group) is starting to make waves across Central and Eastern Europe.
Based in Stockholm and formerly part of Modern Times Group (MTG), it was established in 2018 and is now a fully integrated broadcasting, streaming and content production company providing entertainment services in the Nordics.
However, it has strong international ambitions and these first came to light last year, when it announced plans to launch its streaming service Viaplay in 10 markets outside the region by 2023. Already a runaway success in the Nordics, where it hit its target of 3 million subscribers last year, it will make its debut in the three Baltic countries this coming Tuesday (March 9) and Poland in August. Ahead of its launch in the Baltics, NENT Group has in the last few days announced important distribution agreements with Tet in Latvia and Elisa in Estonia.
With the US also on the list of international markets NENT Group plans to expand to, Viaplay is expected to have up to 4.5 million subscribers outside the Nordics by the end of 2025. By then, its take-up in the Nordics should reach 6 million.
Achieving these targets will of course not come cheaply, and the company has been reported as considering a potential equity release of SEK3.5 billion (€344.4 million), as well as a secondary listing in the US.
Sport is a key element of NENT Group’s offer and it has announced a number of important rights agreements in the last few months that will enhance Viaplay once it is up and running in CEE. For Poland, for instance, these include an exclusive deal to show Bundesliga until 2024-25, as well as UEFA’s Europa League and new Conference League until 2023-24. Meanwhile, for the Baltics it has already secured the same competitions and UEFA Champions League, as well as Formula 1 motorsport and NHL ice hockey.
Viaplay will almost certainly make an impression in the Baltics, which can in some ways be considered an extension of the Nordic region. In Poland, on the other hand, it may nevertheless find the going tougher due to the number of streaming services already present in the marketplace.
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