Nordic Entertainment Group (NENT Group), the Nordic streaming company, is temporarily reducing the prices of its Sports packages on its Viaplay streaming service in all markets following the postponement of various Nordic and international sports events due to the global spread of the Coronavirus.
The price for the Viaplay direct to consumer packages including Sports will be reduced to the same price as the Viaplay TV and Movies package – so to SEK 109 per month in Sweden; to DKK 99 per month in Denmark; to NOK 119 per month in Norway; and to €9.99 per month in Finland. The prices will apply for existing customers and are effective immediately.
NENT Group had 1.568 million Viaplay customers at the end of December 2019, of which the clear minority are sports customers. The major sports events or competitions that have been postponed or paused, and to which NENT Group holds the media rights, include the Premier League, UEFA Champions League, Superliga, NHL and Bundesliga. This weekend’s Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix has also been cancelled. Viaplay’s offering of original productions, international films and series, and premium kids’ content is unchanged.
It is currently not decided for how long these reduced price points will apply. In the event of longer-term postponements or cancellations, NENT Group will seek compensation from the sports rights owners under the terms of its contracts. The spread of the Coronavirus is also negatively impacting advertising demand, which accounted for 26 per cent of Group sales in 2019. These effects will put at risk NENT Group’s previously stated ambition to deliver profitable growth for the full year 2020. Further updates will be provided at the Group’s Q1 earnings call on April 23rd, if not before.
Anders Jensen, NENT Group President and CEO, commented: “We are facing an unprecedented situation with widespread postponements of many major sports leagues and events. We understand and respect the decisions made by sports event organisers around the world, who are rightly focused on safeguarding the health and wellbeing of athletes and fans. We are in close contact with the organisers to discuss how things will be handled moving forward. Our first priority is always to deliver world class products to our customers, which is why we have taken the decision to make temporary adjustments to our sports package prices. We are working hard to add short term alternatives in sports and even more of the great original productions, series, movies and kids’ content that make Viaplay the Nordic region’s leading streaming service and home of great entertainment experiences. We are also determined to find ways of dealing with the consequences of this global crisis, and minimising the impact on our business moving forward.”