Viaplay adds live sports to kick off UK bundle | OTT | News | Rapid TV News
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As it gets ready for launch in the country in the second half of 2022, Nordic Entertainment (NENT) Group has revealed that its Viaplay streaming service will include live sports in its initial UK content line-up.
NENT Viaplay sports 24March2022
When it released in yearly results for 2021, Viaplay customers had streamed a total of 13.4 billion minutes of content as viewing of original content continued to grow. The company’s target for 2022 is to grow the total Viaplay subscriber base by over 60% to approximately 6.5 million and to launch the service in the Netherlands and the UK.

"We have high ambitions for Viaplay in every country where we have a broad offering. The UK, with this expanded scope, is no exception,” stated Anders Jensen, NENT Group president and CEO.

“Adding sports alongside our premium Nordic content will be a unique proposition for viewers, and our line-up will continue to grow and evolve. This will increase Viaplay's appeal even further and help us rapidly establish a position in one of the world's most competitive and exciting streaming markets. Our increased ambition for the UK is of course positive for our outlook but we are not changing our guidance at this time, and we remain fully funded for Viaplay's expansion to at least 16 markets by the end of 2023."

Upping its ambition for the UK market, the company will initially focus on sports with an established Nordic connection and has secured long-term exclusive UK rights to IIHF ice hockey, ISU skating, handball and more. Viaplay intends to develop a broad offering in the UK over time that combines live sports with premium original Nordic content and more. The addition takes Viaplay's European sports footprint to 11 markets.

The UK launch will take the service's footprint to 12 countries, with at least 16 countries planned by the end of 2023. Viaplay aims to have approximately 12 million subscribers by the end of 2025.

Specific sports available on Viaplay in the UK will include IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship: 2024 to 2028; Champions Hockey League: 2023/2024 to 2027/2028; ISU figure skating and speed skating: 2023 to 2028 (ISU World Figure Skating Championships from 2024); EHF European Handball Championship, EHF Champions League and EHF European League (men and women); CEV EuroVolley, CEV Champions League, CEV EuroBeachVolley and additional CEV volleyball competitions: 2022 to 2026; World Athletics Continental Tour Gold: 2023 to 2029; World Athletics Indoor Tour: 2023; FIS snowboard and freestyle: 2022-2026 (non-exclusive).

"These long-term rights show Viaplay's commitment to streaming sports in the UK. Each has a dedicated audience and will give us a foundation to expand further over time,” remarked NENT Group chief sports officer Peter Nørrelund. “In our current European markets, live sports are our home turf and we look forward to bringing our expert coverage to fans in the UK."

In 2022, Viaplay will stream live sports across the Nordic and Baltic regions, Poland and the Netherlands as well as the UK.