NENT to launch Viasat in Poland next year with Bundesliga rights secured
Nordic Entertainment Group, the regional media giant, is to launch in Poland next year, armed with rights to German soccer's Bundesliga, the company revealed today.
NENT said its Viaplay streaming service will go live in Poland in August 2021, in time for the start of the 2021-22 Bundesliga season.
It has secured the rights for four seasons in a deal with Bundesliga International, the league's worldwide commercial sales arm, and will succeed Eleven Sports, the international subscription broadcaster, whose four-year deal expires at the end of this campaign.
Viaplay is set to launch in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in the first quarter of 2021, and NENT has secured Bundesliga rights in the Baltics from 2021-22.
The group intends to expand to an additional 15 countries over the next five years, with Poland the first of those to be announced publicly.
Explaining its move into Poland, NENT said around 25 per cent of the country's 13.8 million households have a streaming subscription, with this number expected to grow to well over 40 per cent in 2025.
NENT recently revealed that paying subscribers to Viaplay across Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland - which came on board in April - now number just over 2.8 million, with the full-year target having been raised to 3 million.
NENT already holds Bundesliga rights in the five Nordic territories to 2025.
According to the Bundesliga, Polish sports fans have a very high affinity for the league, with a fan-base of 4.6 million supporters. The league's popularity in the country has been high since Robert Lewandowski (pictured) moved to Borussia Dortmund in 2010 and then Bayern Munich in 2014, where the national team captain has established himself as one of the most prolific strikers in world soccer.
Other Polish stars currently appearing in the Bundesliga include Łukasz Piszczek (Dortmund), Dawid Kownacki (Fortuna Düsseldorf), Krzysztof Piątek (Hertha Berlin), Bartosz Białek (VfL Wolfsburg) and Robert Gumny (FC Augsburg).
Anders Jensen, NENT president and chief executive, said: “Bundesliga is the triple-A sports right in Poland and this agreement reveals our ambitions for Viaplay in this fast-growing market. We intend to take a leadership position in Poland and to reshape the streaming landscape quickly with further rights acquisitions. In addition, Viaplay will offer thousands of hours of local, Nordic and international content at launch. NENT Group’s vision is to become the European streaming champion and Polish viewers can look forward to discovering a compelling and competitively priced service.”
Robert Klein, Bundesliga International chief executive, added: “Polish sports fans have a deep rooted passion for the Bundesliga, developed over the years thanks to the number of high quality players that have come from Poland... Our partnership with NENT Group goes from strength to strength and we are extremely pleased that the Bundesliga will be one of Viaplay’s marquee offerings. This agreement ensures that fans throughout Poland can enjoy world class German football, at home or on the go, through NENT Group’s exceptional streaming service.”