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Telia launches streaming service as standalone offering

Nordic telco Telia has launched its streaming service Telia Play as a standalone offering available to all, whether they subscriber to Telia’s other services or not.

Until now, Telia Play was restricted to Telia’s own customers. Telia TV customers have been able to freely stream the  Telia Play offerings in the app, while subscribers of other services have been able to add Telia Play for an additional fee.

The widening of the service’s availability comes as Telia adds C More, the pay TV offering from the former Bonnier Broadcasting, which the company somewhat controversially acquired last year, to its line-up.

Telia Play also includes content from Discovery and HBO Nordic, with 15 services overall.

The streaming offering is available on mobiles, tablets, computers and AppleTV and has support for AirPlay and Chromecast.

“It is fantastic to finally be able to offer Sweden’s most highly-regarded TV service to everyone, regardless of the supplier they have in the home, on the TV or on the handset. This is a unique and in-demand combination of broad streaming content and the most popular TV channels – simply the best of both worlds gathered in one place. I hope it can be a wonderful new service for those who plan to consolidate their apps or who want to enjoy even more entertainment,” said Sarah S-Latef Engström, product manager TV at Telia.

In February, Telia’s rival Tele2’s Swedish Com Hem cable unit launched Comhem Play+, which is also available to all. CEO Anders Nilsson said that the new service would build on the company’s existing role as a video content aggregator and enable it to reach customers that are not subscribers to traditional pay TV offerings.

Telia and Tele2/Com Hem have been engaged in an ongoing battle over streaming rights. Tele2 secured a partial victory in February when the EU ordered Telia to revise the terms of an auction of streaming rights. Tele2had complained that Telia’s auctioning of streaming rights to the channels of commercial broadcaster TV4, which it acquired last year, was designed so that only one player would acquire all the rights on offer.

The EC had mandated Telia to auction streaming rights to at least one third-party player in Sweden and Finland as a condition for its approval of the acquisition of TV4 owner Bonnier Broadcasting.