Live sports to be key pillar in NENT’s European Viaplay expansion

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OTT service to go live in ten markets as Nordic media company considers raising funds.

Viaplay launch in Poland and the Baltics involves expansive sports offering

Media company considering US$405m equity funding drive and secondary US share listing

Scandinavia’s Nordic Entertainment (NENT) Group has announced plans to roll out its Viaplay streaming service in ten international markets by the end of 2023, with ambitions to capture a total of 10.5 million global subscribers by 2025.

To fund its expansion, the company also said that it is considering raising US$405 million in equity and a secondary share listing in the US.

As of September this year, the Viaplay service surpassed 2.8 million subscribers across five Nordic territories, including NENT’s Swedish home market. That figure is expected to grow significantly next year, however, with plans already in place to take the over-the-top (OTT) service to Poland and the Baltics.

Both operations will seek to build fresh audiences on their respective sports offerings, including extensive coverage from German soccer’s Bundesliga top flight.

NENT snaps up Bundesliga rights for Polish OTT launch

The company has also confirmed its intention to take Viaplay to the US, though it appears it will use its existing portfolio of Nordic drama series as the platform’s focus in that market.

According to NENT’s projections, expanding the Viaplay business could increase the company’s total subscriber base to around 4.5 million outside the Nordics, while also doubling subscriptions in local territories to six million.

NENT also expects to have a 15 per cent operating margin in the Nordics by 2025, more than double the current 6.2 per cent adjusted group margin it posted during this year’s third quarter.

“We have done surveys in the US, which rank Nordic drama very high, but no one has packaged it the way we will now,” said NENT chief executive Anders Jensen, speaking to Reuters.

Jensen went on to say that accelerated development is expected to generate an increase of between 18 and 20 per cent in organic sales through 2025, with the Nordic operations generating between 13 to 15 per cent. 

“Viaplay is a proven Nordic success story and we are now ready to expand internationally and become the European streaming champion,” he added.

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