Nordic Entertainment Group (NENT Group) is increasingly making its presence felt across Central and Eastern Europe.
Established in 2018 following a decision to split Modern Times Group (MTG) into two separate companies, it announced a major expansion plan late last year to build on the success of its Viaplay SVOD operation in the Nordics. This envisaged growing Viaplay’s subscriber base to around 10.5 million by 2025, with 4.5 million being outside the Nordics. Poland and the Baltics were identified as new markets the service would launch this year, shortly followed by the US.
NENT Group has set itself the objective of becoming Europe’s leading streaming company and appears to have got off to a promising start. Ahead of Viaplay’s launch in the Baltics on March 9, it entered into strategic partnerships with the Latvian incumbent Tet and Estonia’s Elisa. It also began to announce a series of hugely important rights acquisitions that are likely to underpin Viaplay’s success in the CEE region going forward.
Last November, for instance, NENT Group secured exclusive rights to show Bundesliga in Poland until the 2024-25 season. At the same time, it also began to lengthen the list of exclusive rights it held for the Baltics, so that by the time Viaplay launched in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia they included Formula 1, Bundesliga and UEFA Champions, Europa and Conference Leagues. An exclusive agreement with the National Hockey League (NHL), to broadcast its games on Viaplay in the three countries until 2026, followed only days after the launch.
Ahead of Viaplay’s debut in Poland, which NENT Group confirmed only days ago will officially take place on August 3, NENT Group secured the exclusive rights to Formula 1 for the country. Just as importantly, it has also just announced the acquisition of exclusive rights to the Premier League for Poland, the Baltics and Netherlands from 2022 to 2028.
This is particularly significant in the case of Poland, where the rights have been held by Vivendi’s Canal+ for over 25 years. Indeed, it should help establish Viaplay as a serious contender in the highly competitive Polish streaming market.
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