Newsletter 17th of January
17 January 2024
These are the main topics this week:
- Viaplay renew UFC rights and presents preliminary figures for 2023
- Succession, The Bear and Beef dominates the Emmys
- A week of layoffs in the media business
Viaplay renew UFC rights and presents preliminary figures for 2023
Last Wednesday, Viaplay Group’s shareholders approved the company’s recapitalization plan. Just a few days later, the streaming service announced the renewal of its broadcasting rights for the UFC throughout the Nordics in a multi-year deal.
UFC is the world’s leading mixed martial arts (MMA) organization. The deal covers more than 40 live UFC events per year available in Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Norway, including all UFC numbered events and Fight Nights. It is a multi-year deal, but the exact duration is not specified.
“No MMA promotion attracts a bigger audience than UFC, in the Nordic region or worldwide. Extending our long-term partnership with UFC reflects our commitment to offering the most relevant sports to our viewers, and to supporting MMA’s ongoing growth. We look forward to bringing spectacular fight action to even more fans over the coming years on Viaplay as part of our unique live sports portfolio”, Peter Nørrelund, Viaplay Group EVP and Chief Sports & Business Development commented.
In 2023, approximately 800’ or four percents of 15-74-year-olds in the Nordics stated interest in viewing UFC on TV/online. Although the interest level is relatively low compared to other sports rights, the UFC is in the top ten of all sports leagues when it comes to pay rate in the Nordics. Close to 30 percent of those who stated interest in the watching UFC in the Nordics, also pays to watch it. This is presented in Mediavision’s sports analysis.
Yesterday, Viaplay Group also announced that the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority has accepted its recapitalization program. And with that, Viaplay has presented preliminary figures for 2023 in a prospect, which was the basis for to the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority.
The number of subscribers of Viaplay amounted to around 6.50 million by the end of 2023, which is slightly less than the previously communicated target range of 6.55-6.65 million. At the end of the third quarter, the company had 6.66 million subscribers, and in the end of 2022 the subscriber base was 7.3 million.
Viaplay Group’s operating income before associated company income (ACI) and items affecting comparability (IAC) in 2023 was a loss of approximately SEK 1.11 billion for the group, with a profit of approximately SEK 0.55 billion for the Nordic operations and a loss of approximately SEK 1.66 billion for the international operations. The operating result for the Nordics, Netherlands and Viaplay Select is predicted to land between a loss of SEK 250 million and profit of SEK 50 million in 2024. Viaplay Group expects to deliver double-digit operating profit margins in approximately five years. The full report for Q4 and full year of 2023 will be released on February 22nd.
For the fifth consecutive year, Mediavision presents the Sports Analysis. The analysis provides a comprehensive overview of the current Nordic sports rights market and an in-depth analysis of consumer interest, willingness to pay and pay rate. It covers 19 sports and +100 specific sports rights.
Succession, The Bear and Beef dominates the Emmys
The 75th Emmy Awards was held Monday night in Los Angeles, honouring the very best in television. Three shows, HBO’s Succession, FX’s The Bear and Netflix’s Beef dominated the event, as each show nearly swept its respective category – drama, comedy, and limited series. Succession and The Bear tied the number one spot with six wins each, closely followed by Beef with five trophies.
The highly acclaimed final season of HBO’s Succession continued its success after collecting four trophies at the Golden Globes last week. Succession won outstanding drama series, and Kieran Culkin, Sarah Snook, and Matthew MacFadyen each won awards for their performances. Writer and creator Jesse Armstrong and director Mark Mylod both won awards for the “Connor’s Wedding” episode, in which Waystar Royco CEO Logan Roy dies.
FX’s The Bear, available for streaming on Disney Plus in the Nordics, won the award for outstanding comedy. In addition, actors Jeremy Allen White, Ayo Edebiri, and Ebon Moss-Bachrach were all awarded for their efforts in the series. Creator Christopher Storer also won an award for writing and directing, hence, The Bear tied with Succession as both shows collected six wins each.
Netflix’s Beef won outstanding limited series, with its stars Steven Yeun and Ali Wong collecting awards for their performance in the series. The creator Lee Sung Jin also earned awards for writing and directing, resulting in a total of five awards for the show. There are plenty of award shows in the upcoming months – see the full list of what’s coming here.
This analysis covers both the TV- and streaming markets in the Nordic countries. It rests on three pillars: the consumers, the market, and the actors. Analyzing the consumers takes us far – but not all the way. Studying the actors and the market as a whole is just as important.
A week of layoffs in the media business
Last year was a tough one for the media business, as many employees of entertainment and technology companies were laid off. 2024 has started off in the same way. Amazon, Duolingo, Google, Twitch, Unity, and Universal Music Group are some of the companies which have started the new year with extensive layoffs.
Amazon is letting go off hundreds of workers in several of its companies and divisions. Amazon-owned audiobook company Audible has communicated a cut of five percent of its work force. Cuts has also been made at Prime Video and MGM Studios, with “several hundred” employees in these departments affected. In addition, the Amazon-owned livestreaming platform Twitch will cut 35 percent of its staff, corresponding to roughly 500 employees.
About a week ago, Google laid off hundreds of employees, affecting its engineering and hardware teams, as well as employees developing its voice-operated virtual assistant, Google Assistant. One of the reasons for the layoffs at Google is said to be integration of newer artificial intelligence technology into its products.
Language learning app Duolingo, video game software developer Unity Software, communication platform Discord and Universal Music Group are a few of the other companies that also have announced layoffs this month. Fourteen days into the New Year, 46 tech companies have laid off approximately 7,500 employees according to layoffs tracker Layoffs.fyi.
This analysis tracks the progress of individual and household payments per service and actor, as well as overall media expenditures. The primary focus is mapping out the allocation of expenditures across audio, video, text, and access. Published biannually.
Mediavision in the News
Marie Nilsson: ”Mycket tycks peka åt rätt håll 2024” – Dagens Media
Var fjärde svensk strömmar olaglig tv – SVT
Kan bli det store gjennombruddet for denne typen TV-abonnement – Kampanje
Nordisk tv- og streamingmarked nærmer sig milepæl for omsætning – Mediawatch
Report: Nordic video market approaching €10bn in revenue – Advanced Television
Streaming subs in Nordics approach 20 million – C21 Media
Mediavision: Digitala ljudtjänster tar andelar på ljudmarknaden – Radionytt
Return of media piracy fuelling other crimes, expert says – Yle
Krisen i tv-branschen fortsätter – nu ökar piratkopieringen – Aftonbladet
MIPTV: 15-17 April 2024, Cannes, France
* Mediavision will attend
** Mediavision will present