MTG: deal with Com Hem, bigger stake in Ukraine, new sports channel

Modern Times Group (MTG)-owned Viasat Broadcasting has struck a deal with Swedish cable operator Com Hem that will see its premium pay-TV channel packages made available on its service. This will allow Modern Times Group-owned pan regional pay and free broadcaster to sell its Viasat Gold package, which includes its raft of sports and movie channels, to Com Hem’s 1.65 million customers, 600,000 of which are digital subscribers.

The deal will run until 2013 and follows similar virtual operator agreements with Telia in Sweden, Telenor in Sweden and Norway and Elion in Estonia.

Meanwhile, MTG has completed the acquisition of a further 35% stake in Viasat Ukraine. MTG now owns 85% of Viastrong, which operates the Viasat Ukraine satellite pay-TV platform. The deal was finalised following approval from the Ukrainian regulatory authorities.

Separately, MTG is launching a new sports channel – TV10 – in Sweden. The free-to-air channel will be available to subscribers of Viasat’s satellite pay platform and Com Hem’s cable service. It will launch later this year and will air UEFA Euro 2010 qualification games as well as coverage of NHL hockey and Formula One grand prix races. The channel, which will be targeted at men aged between 25 and 59, complements Viasats range of sports channels including Viasat Fotboll, Viasat Motor, Viasat Hockey, Viasat Sport, Viasat Sport HD and Viasat Golf.

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