Eurosport completes swoop for Swedish league rights in six-year deal
Eurosport Sweden, an arm of the Discovery Communications-owned pan-European sports broadcaster, has concluded an exclusive deal to show Swedish soccer’s top-tier Allsvenskan starting in 2020.
Under the anticipated agreement between Discovery Networks Sweden and the Swedish Elite Football Association, which runs for six seasons, Eurosport is promising to take coverage of the league in Sweden to a new level, with enhanced digital content, and make it more accessible and affordable for fans.
The deal also includes exclusive coverage on Eurosport of Swedish soccer’s second-tier Superettan.
Eurosport’s latest soccer acquisition represents a blow to Bonnier, the Swedish media group, whose TV4 Group and C More currently hold rights to the Swedish top flight, but is being seen as a significant financial boost for the league.
Discovery Networks Sweden, whose channels include Kanal 5, Kanal 9, Eurosport 1 and Eurosport, went head-to-head with Bonnier in the recent invitation to tender process
The deal is reported to be worth SKr540 million ($61.5 million) per season, around double the present outlay from TV4 and C More.
Michael Lang, president international development, digital & Discovery Nordics, said: “Football is one of the biggest sports in Sweden, and Allsvenskan is right at the very core of that passion, inspiring fans all across the country.
“Our goal will be to bring these games to more fans than ever - via Eurosport and our flagship channel Kanal 5 - and most importantly across all devices through our ground-breaking Eurosport digital platforms which will offer an enhanced viewing experience and ability for fans to watch anywhere, anytime and on any screen.
“We are also proud to have the privilege to showcase the Allsvenskan after the great job done by our colleagues at C More Sports, who set such a high standard.”
Mats Enquist, secretary general of the Swedish Elite Football Association, added: “We have conducted a thorough, open and transparent process where all interested bidders have been given the chance and done a great job.
“Based on this examination we have chosen Discovery who presented the best case. That is why we have decided to make this historic change starting from the 2020 season, and we are looking forward to work with Discovery.”
C More has held the Allsvenskan
rights since 1997 (when it was known as Canal Plus) and currently offers the
games on its C More Sport and C More Fotboll channels, and on its
Discovery’s Allsvenskan rights deal will deliver a boost to Eurosport 2’s distribution in Sweden and also ensures a hat-trick of domestic rights agreements with soccer leagues in Scandinavia.
The group already holds domestic rights to the Danish Superliga, showcasing games on Kanal 9, Eurosport and OTT service DPlay.
Discovery’s coverage of Norway’s Elitserien will kick off as the 2017 season begins, with the media group having bought the rights in an exclusive six-year agreement worth around NKr2.4 billion ($283 million) in total, the largest-ever rights agreement in Norwegian sport.
Eurosport also holds domestic rights to live games from Poland’s Ekstraklasa, while its Bundesliga pay-TV rights deal in Germany will take effect next season.
Sweden has been one of Discovery’s priority markets in which to build up premium content since it bought Eurosport, and it has held back exclusive coverage of the Olympics to showcase on its channels in the country.
Discovery also holds rights in Sweden to the Uefa Europa League and European qualifying matches for the 2018 World Cup and recently agreed a deal to show this summer’s Uefa European Under-21 Championship on Kanal 5 and Eurosport.