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Telia agrees OTT licensing deal with Discovery for TV4 and C More channels

Nordic telco Telia has secured EC approval for a deal that will see it license OTT rights to its linear channels to Discovery in Sweden and Finland.

The EC had previously made it a condition of its approval for Telia’s acquisition of Bonnier Broadcasting-owned Swedish and Finnish commercial broadcasters TV4 and MTV and pay TV outfit C More that it agree to license standalone OTT rights to one other player in each market.

Telia Company decided to license standalone OTT rights, in Sweden and Finland, to Discovery Networks. The Commission has now approved the licensee.

Allison Kirkby

The licensing deal includes the rights to TV4 Media’s linear channels – TV4, Sjuan, TV 12, TV4 Fakta, TV4 Guld, TV4 Film, Sportkanalen, C More Hockey, C More Fotboll, C More Golf, C More Sport and C More Live 1-5– as well as MTVservices MTV3, Sub, AVA, C More Juniori, C More Max, C More Sport 1 and C More Sport 2, along with Telia’s Liiga channel.

“We have run a process to license our OTT rights with several players, fully in line with the commitments. Today’s approval means that we can continue to move forward and realise the advantages for our customers of combining our leading mobile and fixed networks with the most successful commercial media house in the Nordics. And, I’m happy to be able to announce to Discovery Network’s customers that they can now have access to the best Nordic OTT content from TV4, C More and MTV,” said Allison Kirkby, President and CEO of Telia Company.

The licensing agreement follows a battle that played out earlier this year between Telia and its service provider rival in the Swedish market, Tele2, which had been seeking to secure streaming rights to TV4 services to boost its own streaming service.

Tele2 lodged an appeal to the EU monitoring trustee over the terms under which Telia was auctioning its streaming rights, which produced an instruction from the monitoring trustee to Telia to change the terms of the rights auction in February.

Tele2, owner of Swedish cable operator Com Hem, had complained that Telia’s auctioning of streaming rights to TV4’s channels was designed so that only one player would acquire all the rights on offer.