Nordic Entertainment Group (NENT Group), the Nordic streaming company, has announced that it is in ongoing discussions with potential partners to invest in the accelerated development of its scripted drama output and operations, which account for approximately 45 per cent of NENT Studios sales.
NENT Group has also recommenced the process to divest its non-scripted, branded entertainment and events businesses, which account for approximately 55 per cent of NENT Studios sales, and for which NENT Group has received encouraging levels of interest. Both processes had been temporarily paused due to the impact of the spread of the Coronavirus.
In addition, UK based DRG has been rebranded as NENT Studios UK, to sit alongside NENT Studios’ two other divisions – NENT Studios Nordics & CEE, and NENT Studios US.
NENT Studios, which comprises 32 content creation, production and distribution companies in 17 countries, is being reorganised to focus on scripted drama production (series and films) and distribution. The reorganisation reflects NENT Group’s strategic focus on the growth of its Viaplay streaming service and the demand for high quality scripted drama. Viaplay premiered 21 high quality original productions in 2019, expects to premiere approximately 30 original productions in 2020, and has the ambition to premiere 40 original productions per year in the future.
The new and focused scripted production business will comprise NENT Studios’ Nordic production companies Brain Academy Nordics, Nice Drama and EPIQ; its Budapest based CEE production company Paprika; NENT Studios’ UK operations including London based DRG and NENT Group’s joint venture with FilmNation Entertainment; its US based scripted production company Brain Academy US; and NENT Group’s investment in Los Angeles based studio Picturestart. The organisation will be focused on developing a comprehensive slate of new formats and selling existing ones internationally.
Anders Jensen, NENT Group President and CEO, said: “The high subscriber intake and viewing levels we have seen at Viaplay, and the clear demand for high quality scripted drama from both Viaplay and other media companies around the world, have emphasised the importance of the reorganisation of NENT Studios. Viaplay and others want to invest more in scripted drama, so this is where we are focusing our resources. The international expansion of Viaplay will only increase this demand further. We are holding discussions with potential partners regarding investing in our scripted operations so that we can increase our output further. And we have now recommenced the process to sell the other parts of NENT Studios – these are attractive and successful businesses, for which we have already received encouraging levels of interest, but have very limited synergy with our streaming strategy and ambitions. Our focus is on Viaplay and the opportunity to produce more original shows that are popular with viewers in the Nordics and around the world.”