Premier League follows improved NENT deal with TV2 renewal
By Martin Ross
TV2, the commercial broadcaster in Norway, has retained one of its prized sports rights properties, agreeing a new three-year deal to show England’s Premier League until the end of the 2021-22 season.
Having held the rights to the English top flight since 2010, the Norwegian broadcaster has now extended its deal and will showcase the matches on TV2 and the TV2 Sumo streaming service.
News of TV2’s renewal comes just a day after the announcement that Nordic Entertainment Group, a spin-off of Modern Times Group, has retained Premier League rights in Sweden, Denmark and Finland in a deal that is understood to represent a 40-per-cent uplift on the current agreement.
In 2015, TV2 held off competition from then newcomer SBS Discovery Media to keep hold of the Premier League rights for three more seasons, paying a total of over NKr1.65 billion (now $203 million).
In addition to the Premier League, TV2 holds non-exclusive rights to one Uefa Champions League game per match night (plus the final) from 2018-19 to 2020-21, Europa League rights for the same period, the 2020 Uefa European Championships, plus qualifiers for that tournament and the European qualifiers for the 2022 Fifa World Cup.
Access to Premier League games is part of TV2’s premium sports package on TV2 Sumo, which is priced at NKr399 per month.
Christian Birkeland, head of TV2 Sumo, told DN, the Norwegian newspaper, that there are “no plans” to increase the subscription price on the back of the Premier League renewal.
Nordic Entertainment Group’s extension of Premier League rights in Sweden, Denmark and Finland this week caught some by surprise after there was no formal bidding process opened for the rights.
NENT, which today continued its rights buying spree by announcing deals for the top soccer leagues in Germany, France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Scotland, plus next year's Copa America, is understood to have approached the Premier League directly with an offer.
While the rights fee increase paid by NENT is understood to be around 40 per cent, the fees ultimately received by the Premier League clubs in pounds will represent a much greater uplift given executives at the English top flight have agreed the deal in Euros and the pound is now much weaker against the Euro since the 2016 Brexit vote.
In its current contract Modern Times Group is thought to be paying around €70 million per year for its Premier League rights in Sweden, Denmark and Finland.
MTG has held Premier League rights in Sweden and Denmark since 2010 and in Finland since 2016, when it took the rights away from commercial broadcaster MTV3.
In the present cycle, which ends with the 2018-19 season, MTG sub-licensed half of its Premier League rights in Denmark to Discovery Networks Danmark, the arm of the international broadcast giant that owns Eurosport.
From 2019-20, 232 live games will be shown throughout the season, up 13 per cent on the present figure, including eight games at a new 8.45 pm (CET) Saturday slot.
This week alone, NENT has also retained Formula 1 rights in Denmark, Norway and Sweden to 2021, and acquired rights to all European Handball Federation club and national team competitions involving Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland.