Nordic streamer Viaplay reveals UK launch plans

The Box

Viaplay Group will launch its Viaplay streaming service in the UK on 1 November with a choice of two packages.

Viewers will be offered the ‘Films and Series’ package focused on Nordic storytelling with Viaplay Originals, and curated third-party content, and the ‘Total’ package that also includes the combined UK sports line-up of Viaplay and UK sports streamer and TV channel operator Premier Sports. These packages will be priced at £3.99 and £14.99 per month respectively.

Viaplay Originals confirmed to be available in the UK at launch include Fenris, Cell 8 and The Box. Further details of the series and films available on Viaplay in the UK will be announced shortly.

Meanwhile, Viaplay Group’s acqusition of Premier Sports has now received Irish media merger control clearance, and Premier Sports’ TV channels will receive Viaplay branding from 1 November, the company said. The UK launch will take its direct-to-consumer footprint to 11 countries, with the US and Canada to follow in early 2023.

The pay-TV channels Premier Sports 1 and Premier Sports 2 will be rebranded as Viaplay Sports 1 and Viaplay Sports 2, with the free-to-air TV channel FreeSports becoming Viaplay Xtra. All channels will remain available through existing distribution partners, and will continue to broadcast live sports to pubs, clubs and other commercial premises throughout the UK.

Premier Sports had a total of 222,000 paying subscribers at the end of June 2022. Founded in 2009 and previously majority-owned by Setanta Sports, the company generated revenues of £26.4 million in 2021

Sports content on the UK offering will include all European qualifiers for the UEFA Euro and FIFA World Cup played by the Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland men’s national football teams, along with the UEFA Nations League and friendlies, until 2028.

Viaplay holds rights to over 1,000 UEFA international matches from across Europe, including teams such as Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain.

Viaplay will also show LaLiga, Scottish Cup, Scottish League Cup and Coppa Italia football; BKT United Rugby Championship, Rugby Football League and Top 14 rugby; NHL, IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, Champions Hockey League and Elite Ice Hockey League; CEV volleyball; KSW mixed martial arts; EHF handball; ISU figure skating and speed skating; World Athletics Continental Tour Gold and Indoor Tour; and much more.

Anders Jensen, Viaplay Group President and CEO, said: “Viaplay will offer UK viewers a compelling combination of live sports, world-class drama and superior value for money. We are launching in this dynamic and exciting market with high ambitions and a long-term perspective, and acquiring Premier Sports will significantly accelerate our entry. Viaplay has so much to offer, and local sports fans as well as devotees of premium Nordic and international storytelling can now try our unique service for themselves, starting 1 November.”

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