Newsletter 15th of September: High Interest for Sports in Nordics


15 September 2021

With this summer’s major sports events like the UEFA Euro, Summer Olympics and Paralympics behind us, we can now shift focus to the highly eventful fall and winter season in the world of sports. Mediavision’s Nordic Sports Analysis 2021 reveals that many viewers in the Nordics simply can’t wait for the competitions to begin.

Perhaps to no greater surprise, football is the sport that most Nordic viewers are interested in watching. Close to 25% of Nordic 15-74-year-olds express an interest in viewing football via TV/online video. This group has a lot to look forward to – to say the least. For example, the group stage of the most popular league among Nordics viewers – Champions League – premiered this week.

Winter sports¹ attain the second highest viewing interest in the region. In fact, the single most popular tournament of all is the Winter Olympics. Thereby surpassing both Summer Olympics and UEFA Euro to mention two other recent mega events.

If we look at specific cups, two competitions within winter sports stand out: The Cross-country and Biathlon World Cups. According to the analysis, these two each attract the interest of close to 2.5 million Nordic viewers – only surpassed by Champions League and Premier League.



However, this season of winter sports bring about some changes. For the first time, all winter sports will not be broadcasted live by public service, following NENT’s acquisition of a major suite of winter sports². This is a 5-year deal, starting this season. Hence, the broadcasts of cross-country skiing will be transferred from public service actors TV2 in Denmark, YLE in Finland, NRK in Norway, and SVT in Sweden to NENT – for distribution via its pay-TV channels, free-TV channels and Viaplay. However, biathlon will remain with public service.

It is obviously too early to predict how viewing interest will be transferred into new paying subscribers or to retention among those households that already are subscribers. Winter sports have a long history of free-to-air access but is now moving in the same direction as other sports – i.e., towards pay-TV. One challenge – or opportunity – for NENT might be how to entice older demographics to open their wallets. Mediavision’s Nordic Sports Analysis suggest that viewing interest for winter sports skew older than payment for premium sports subscription.

¹ FIS Cross-Country Ski World Cup, IBU Biathlon World Cup, FIS Alpine Ski World Cup, FIS Ski Jumping World Cup, FIS World Cup Ski Cross, ICU Speed Skating World Cup & Finnish Bandy League and X-Games.

² Mens and Ladies FIS Alpine Ski World Cup, Mens and Ladies FIS Cross Country World Cup, Mens and Ladies FIS Ski Jumping World Cup, Mens FIS Nordic Combined World Cup, Mens and Ladies FIS Snowboard World Cup, Mens and Ladies FIS Freestyle Ski and Freeski World Cup and the FIS World Ski Championships in 2023 and 2025.

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