Newsletter September 11th: The Importance of Premium Sports

11 September 2019

This week we are zooming in on sports and its power to attract large audiences and loyal subscribers. The premium sports market is highly competitive. Several major rights in the Nordics have recently changed owners and women’s sports are on the rise.

In March 2017 it was announced that Discovery had secured the exclusive rights to the Swedish top football leagues Allsvenskan and Superettan. Discovery holds the rights through the 2020 – 2025 seasons. Prior to Discovery securing the rights, Allsvenskan and Superettan have resided with C More for over 20 years. C More (Canal+) has broadcasted Allsvenskan since 1997, previously under the name Canal+. Yet, as this season draws to a close in the coming months, Discovery prepares to take over these attractive rights as of the 2020 season.

As revealed in Mediavision’s recently published Nordic sports analysis, football holds a particularly strong position on the Nordic market with several leagues attaining a high share of paying viewers. For instance, roughly a third of consumers who express an interest in Swedish top football league Allsvenskan pays for access.

In other sports related news, C More has recently secured several new rights. The most recent being the 2019/2020 seasons of SDHL (Svenska Damhockeyligan). Prior to that, C More bolstered its sports offering by acquiring Strive Sports´ Swedish rights to La Liga, Serie A and Major League Soccer.

Sports leagues/tournaments generating high interest across the Nordics

The strength of this customer segment is recognized and acted upon in other Nordic countries as well. In January 2020, Danish broadcaster TV2 is set to launch an entirely new streaming channel, TV2 Sports X. Moreover, Danish channel Xee has acquired the rights to air selected games from the German Bundesliga. In Norway, public service broadcaster NRK has bought the rights to air the UEFA Women’s Euro playoffs in 2021. Last but not least, NENT Group has acquired the Nordic broadcasting rights to several top European women’s football leagues such as Division 1 Féminine and FA Women’s Super League.

Perhaps the most notable trend in the most recent wave of rights being acquired is that women’s sports are gaining popularity and are riding a high following this summer’s football world cup, also outside of the Nordics. For instance, the BBC has significantly increased its share of women’s sports in the past five years, ESPN recently attained its highest ratings ever for US Open Women’s tennis and the Amazon-owned streaming platform Twitch will exclusively stream the National Women’s Hockey League this fall. The premium sports market remains highly competitive and we’re not likely to see a downturn anytime soon.

Industry News

Apple announced on Tuesday that their upcoming streaming service Apple TV Plus will launch in 100 countries on November 1st at a cost of $4.99 per month. Customers purchasing a new device from Apple will receive a one year subscription to the service free of charge.
NENT Group aims to launch their streaming service Viaplay on Iceland during the first half of 2020. Currently, Viaplay has more than 1.4 million paying subscribers in the region and the launch entails that the service will now be available in all five Nordic countries.
A new study from Indian OTT platform Eros Now and KPMG  forecasts that India will have more than 500 million online video subscribers by 2023. Consequently, India is expected to become the world´s second largest market for streaming services, following China.
Norwegian broadcasting companies NRK and TV2 aim to purchase the shares currently owned by Telenor in the television distributor RiksTV. The deal is considered a strategic move in order to ensure continued public, free access to the broadcasters’ content.
This year, Youtube has removed five times as many videos as last year, resulting from their tightened rules regarding what is considered hateful language and antisemitism. In total, 111,185 videos, 17,818 channels and 538 million comments were removed.
The comedy drama series “Love Me”, written and created by starring actress Josephine Bornebusch has been renewed for a second season. American commercial broadcast television network ABC recently purchased the rights to produce an English pilot of the series.

Mediavision Press Release

Popular titles of great importance to SVOD services
Streaming services have become very popular in Sweden. Naturally, one of the reasons is the vast supply on offer. But its not just a question of volume.

Mediavision in the News

En ny kvartalsanalys från konsult- och analysföretaget Mediavision visar att när konsumenterna väljer strömningstjänst att prenumerera på väger populära serier tungt.
I kampen mellan strömningsjättarna är det inte bara mängden av filmer och tv-serier som spelar roll. HBO Nordic visade på rakettillväxt under andra kvartalet […].
Popular titles of great importance to SVOD services in Sweden, according to research by Mediavision.
Streaming services have become very popular in Sweden. Naturally, one of the reasons is the vast supply on offer. But it is not just a question of volume.

Industry events

  • IBC: Spetember 13 – 17, Amsterdam, Netherlands

*Events where Mediavision will be presenting