Sunday October 1, 2023

Viaplay Eyes Premier Sports Channel

  • Viaplay hopes to reach an agreement with Premier Sports by the end of 2022.
  • Premier Sports holds media rights to La Liga and UEFA Nations League.
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Viaplay Group is in negotiations to acquire Ireland-based pay-TV channel Premier Sports, according to Bloomberg. 

Premier Sports, which also operates in the U.K., would allow the Stockholm-based streaming company to expand its reach ahead of its launch in the region later this year. 

  • Viaplay hopes to reach an agreement with Premier Sports by the end of 2022.
  • Premier Sports holds media rights to La Liga and UEFA Nations League.
  • The channel is available on Virgin Media, British broadcaster Sky, and its app.
  • Viaplay currently has a market value of roughly $1.7 billion

A deal for Premier Sports would add to Viaplay’s growing portfolio of live sports rights. 

In 2020, the company secured exclusive rights to the Premier League in a six-year deal from the 2022-23 season through 2028. The agreement allows Viaplay — previously known as Nordic Entertainment Group — to air matches in Norway, Denmark, Finland, and Sweden. 

Viaplay supplemented the deal with a distribution pact with Norwegian pay-TV operator RiksTV. 

The pact, which ends in 2023, allows RiksTV users to watch all 380 Premier League matches per season.  

Under Watch 

Viaplay’s potential expansion in the U.K. could lead to scrutiny by British regulators.

The Competition and Markets Authority — a U.K. antitrust watchdog — is investigating a group of Britain’s top sports broadcasters regarding the purchase of freelance services. 

The group includes BT Group, IMG Media, Sky UK Limited, and ITV.

The CMA believes the broadcasters engaged in potential “cartel-like behavior.”

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