Viaplay Sees Subs Gain, Ramps Up U.K. Business


Viaplay Group has reported a 69 percent gain in its subscriber base to 5.5 million and is accelerating its plans for the U.K. with the acquisition of Premier Sports.

Premier Sports operates a sports streaming service and TV channels in the U.K., with a portfolio of rights that includes La Liga, Scottish Cup, United Rugby Championship, NASCAR and more. It has 220,000 paying subs in the U.K., which is set to see the launch of Viaplay this fall. Premier Sports 1, Premier Sports 2 and Premier Player will be rebranded under Viaplay. The transaction values Premier Sports at £30 million ($36 million) on a cash and debt-free basis.

Viaplay has appointed Edward Breeze as senior VP and head of sports in the U.K. He is currently executive VP of rights at DAZN.

Anders Jensen, Viaplay Group’s president and CEO, commented, “This acquisition will put Viaplay firmly on the U.K. map and accelerate our development in this key market. Premier Sports has a loyal and expanding subscriber base, well-established distribution agreements and production capabilities, and a great sports portfolio that complements our own. There is also a big opportunity to make Viaplay’s wider offering, including our award-winning Viaplay originals, available to Premier Sports’ subscribers. We have secured this growing and profitable business at an attractive valuation. This is a fast and effective route to building an even stronger position for Viaplay in the U.K.”

Richard Sweeney, Premier Sports CEO, added, “At Premier Sports, we’re proud to have created a dynamic, innovative sports streamer and broadcaster over the past 13 years. From modest beginnings, and through the hard work and dedication of our people, we have continually grown the company, and today we have an extensive portfolio of must-see live sports that entertain loyal customers across the U.K. Our sale to Viaplay Group will dramatically increase the content available to new and existing subscribers. This is the start of an exciting new chapter in the development of the business and is great news for our colleagues, customers and partners.”

Viaplay Group reported its Q2 financials today, with revenues up by 18 percent. “We have delivered another quarter that is well in line with our strategy and goals,” Jensen said. “The strong performance of Viaplay in the Nordics was complemented by further growth in the international operations. As a result of this and our new B2B partnership in Poland, we are upgrading our year-end Viaplay subscriber target from 7 million to 7.3 million. The Nordic subscriber target remains unchanged after the upgrade last quarter, while the international subscriber target has now been raised from 2.2 million to 2.5 million.”