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NENT’s Viaplay to expand to 10 international markets, including Poland and US

Nordic Entertainment (NENT Group) has unveiled plans to rollout streaming services in 10 international markets by the end of 2023, including Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and the US in 2021.

Anders Jensen

By the end of 2025, NENT Group aims to increase its subscriber base to approximately 10.5 million by more than doubling its Viaplay paying subscriber base in the Nordics to approximately six million, and growing its international subscriber base to approximately 4.5 million.

As part of the plan, NENT Group has secured the exclusive rights to show German Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 football in Poland after a four-year deal that runs until the 2024-25 season was agreed with Bundesliga International, a subsidiary of the DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga.

The company’s Viaplay streaming service will launch in Poland in August 2021 and will include Bundesliga in a broad consumer offering.

NENT Group has also struck a long-term agreement that makes Viaplay the exclusive Nordic launch partner for Starz’s international premium streaming service Starzplay. Beginning in December, a wide selection of acclaimed and exclusive Starzplay series will be available to Viaplay viewers across the Nordic region as part of their subscriptions, with the full Starzplay service to be offered through Viaplay to all Viaplay subscribers at a later date.

The international acceleration in the Group’s development is expected to generate 18-20% compound annual organic sales growth for 2020-2025, with the Nordic operations generating 13-15% growth.

NENT Group is considering funding the expansion with an equity raise to the tune of SEK3.5 billion. The company is presenting its strategy, plans and targets at today’s online Capital Markets Day.

Viaplay will be launched in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, as previously announced, in March next year. This follows the successful launch of Viaplay in Iceland earlier this year. The streamer will then be launched in Poland in August 2021 and offer Nordic, local and international content, as well as live sports such as Bundesliga football.

In late 2021, the streamer will be launched in the US as a tailored service offering high-quality Nordic drama series.

Viaplay will be launched in an additional five European markets by the end of 2023 and is expected to attract approximately 4.5 million international subscribers by the end of 2025. NENT Group’s international operations, which will be reported separately from Q1 2021, are expected to be EBIT profitable in 2025 with accumulated combined losses to breakeven of approximately SEK 2.5 billion.

“Viaplay is a proven Nordic success story and we are now ready to expand internationally and become the European streaming champion. We have one of the world’s most flexible and scalable technology platforms, and aim to be the most diverse and inclusive storyteller with our amazing range of original, acquired, local and live content that offers something special for everyone. We have already signed up key content rights in our target markets, and are in discussions with distributors about exciting new partnerships to ensure that Viaplay is available everywhere,” said Anders Jensen, NENT Group President & CEO.

“This expansion requires funding and we will be discussing this with our shareholders. The growth and profitability targets that we are presenting today illustrate the unique and significant potential of our existing Nordic business and future international operations. The time is right to seize this major opportunity that we have in front of us, given the continued growth in streaming and ever-increasing demand for high-quality and locally relevant entertainment. We are ready. We have the platform, we have the operational model, we have the content and, most importantly, we have the team.”