NENT to revert to pre-pandemic pricing from July as sport comes flooding back
Nordic Entertainment Group, the regional media giant, will be charging full-price fees for its Viaplay streaming service in three Nordic countries again from 1 July, following the resumption of several of its premium sporting properties.
NENT, which holds rights across the Nordic region to competitions such as soccer’s English Premier League, Germany’s Bundesliga, Europe’s prestigious Champions League, as well as to motor racing’s Nascar and Formula 1, will revert to its normal pricing for Viaplay from the start of next month in Sweden, Denmark and Finland, it said today.
In mid-March, NENT temporarily reduced the price of its Viaplay sports packages across all markets because of the catastrophic impact the coronavirus pandemic had on the sporting calendar.
The return to full pricing will likely be mirrored in other markets as slowly the sporting world starts to return to some semblance of normality.
NENT reduced the Viaplay direct-to-consumer packages including sports to the same price as the Viaplay TV and Movies package: SKr109 ($11) per month in Sweden; DKr99 ($15) per month in Denmark; NKr119 ($12) per month in Norway; and €9.99 ($11.12) per month in Finland. The discounted prices only applied to existing customers.
NENT also said at that time that it would be seeking compensation from leagues and federations if the pandemic resulted in long-term postponements and cancellations. The broadcaster pledged to reduce ongoing costs by around SKr700 million, and said this cost-cutting would impact on report results in 2020.
Over the last few days and weeks however, a number of competitions to which the broadcaster holds rights, including the Premier League, Danish Superliga, Bundesliga, Nascar and IndyCar motor racing, have either resumed competition or have announced provisional restart dates for June.
In Sweden, a monthly Viaplay sports package subscription will once again cost SKr399, while in Denmark the cost will revert to DKr339, and in Finland to €34.99.
The Viaplay service in Norway will also return to its pre-coronavirus pricing, albeit at a later date.
This move from NENT will come as welcome news to other broadcasters worldwide which have been offering reduced pricing in recent months, as a sign that sporting schedules are slowly but surely filling up again.
Anders Jensen, NENT’s group president and chief executive, said: “Just like sports fans everywhere, we are delighted to see live sports returning to the screen, and we expect even more to follow in the coming weeks.”
He added: “Fans can now look forward to watching even more live Premier League, Superliga and Bundesliga games at the discounted price during June, before we return to our normal pricing in July.”
Earlier this month, NENT unveiled a premium sports portfolio for the launch of Viaplay in the Baltics next year.
Viaplay will launch in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania during the first quarter of 2021, and among the sports on offer will be the Bundesliga from the 2021-22 season, as well as motor racing's Formula 1 and North American ice hockey's NHL from 2021.
NENT also launched the Viaplay sports package in Iceland in mid-April, priced at IsK1599 ($12) per month, with the top soccer leagues in Germany, Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark, and Formula 1 and Nascar motor racing part of the offering.