Newsletter 15th of January: The Premier League Seeks New Owner for Nordic Rights
The Premier League has initiated a bidding war for the audio-visual broadcasting rights on the Nordic market. The league attracts great interest from viewers as well as media companies, but perhaps the buyer will be found outside the Nordic territory?
Last month, Mediavision reported
on Champions League´s current round of rights auctions. Next in line to issue an invitation to tender (ITT) for the audio-visual broadcasting rights is the Premier League
. This time targeted at Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden, for the rights covering the 22/23 season and onwards. Bids must be submitted by the 29th of January. Nordic Entertainment Group (NENT) is the current rights holder of the Premier League in Denmark, Finland and Sweden. The company has held the rights since 2010 in Sweden and Denmark, and since 2016 in Finland. In Norway, commercial broadcaster TV2 has held the Premier League rights over the last four cycles (since 2010-11). NENT recently enlarged its offering of soccer by purchasing the rights to broadcast the second highest male league in Denmark, Nordicbet Ligaen.
Premier League is the most popular national league in the world, also reflected in the Nordic countries. Mediavision’s Nordic Sports Analysis 2019 shows that 2.6 million people (15-74 y/o) in the Nordics are interested in following the Premier League via traditional TV and/or online video. However, Premiere League is decidedly less popular in Finland compared to the rest of the Nordics.
The Premier League’s international rights income rose by 35 per cent in the 2019-22 cycle, generating a combined total revenue for the three seasons of over £4.2bn (€4.9bn/$5.5bn).
One local actor which has been mentioned as a potential buyer is Discovery that has invested heavily in local sports rights in the Nordics in the last couple of years. Lately, global tech giants have expressed an increased interest in sports rights as well, Premier League being no exception. Amazon already holds rights to air certain Premier League games in the UK and recently purchased the rights to air Champions League in Germany.
Mediavision recently surveyed Swedish media industry experts on the topic and found that 50% believe that Amazon is the most likely tech candidate to pick up broadcast sports rights for the Nordic market in the coming 5 years – perhaps Premier League will be the first?