The EC had previously made it a condition of its approval for Telia’s acquisition of Bonnier Broadcasting’s Swedish and Finnish commercial networks TV4 and MTV, as well as pay TV outfit C More, that it agree to license standalone OTT rights to one other player in each market.
Telia decided to license standalone OTT rights in Sweden and Finland to Discovery Networks. The commission has now approved the licensee.
The licensing deal includes the rights to TV4 Media’s linear channels, ranging from TV4, Sjuan and TV 12, to MTV services such as MTV3, and Telia’s Liiga channel.
The licensing agreement follows a battle that played out earlier this year between Telia and its service provider rival in the Swedish market, Tele2, which had been seeking to secure streaming rights to TV4 services to boost its own streaming service.
Tele2 lodged an appeal to the EU monitoring trustee over the terms under which Telia was auctioning its streaming rights, which produced an instruction from the monitoring trustee to Telia to change the terms of the rights auction in February.
Tele2, owner of Swedish cable operator Com Hem, had complained that Telia’s auctioning of streaming rights to TV4’s channels was designed so that only one player would acquire all the rights on offer.