Market newcomer NENT and incumbent Sýn to share Uefa club rights in Iceland
The three-year deal runs from 2021-22 to 2023-24, with NENT's Viaplay streaming service, which launched in the country last year, and Sýn, which operates the Stöð 2 Sport pay-TV channel, to share coverage of the top-tier Uefa Champions League, second-tier Europa League and new third-tier Europa Conference League.
Uefa and its Team Marketing agency launched the tender in Iceland on 21 September, with first round bids due by 19 October.
Over the course of the contract, Viaplay will offer more than 60 live Champions League games each season, with NENT and Sýn to have alternating first picks of matches from the group phase, the first knock-out round, the quarter-finals and the semi-finals.
Viaplay will show the Champions League final in 2022, Sýn in 2023 and the two will both broadcast the 2024 final.
Europa League and Europa Conference League matches will be divided up in the same way.
The reigning Icelandic champions Valur will enter qualifying for next season’s Champions League, with FH, Stjarnan and Breiðablik looking to qualify for the Europa Conference League, which Uefa has created primarily for clubs in smaller nations.
Stöð 2 Sport presently holds Champions League and Europa League rights in Iceland, where Viaplay officially launched on 1 April 2020, and subscriber growth has been strong.
In the 2021-22 to 2023-24 cycle, NENT has already secured Champions League rights in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, with Viaplay to launch in the Baltics this quarter, and in Denmark, offsetting losses in Sweden (Telia) and Norway (TV2).
Anders Jensen, NENT president and chief executive, said today: “Viaplay continues to reshape Iceland’s streaming landscape by adding even more top-quality sports content, combined with our fast-growing films and series proposition. Securing the rights to every Uefa European club competition for the next three years is an important step and marks yet another milestone in our unique and long-lasting partnership with Uefa. This is fantastic news for Icelandic sports fans.”
Other sports rights held by NENT in Iceland include the top soccer leagues in Germany, Denmark, Scotland, Sweden and the Netherlands, motor racing's Formula 1 and Nascar, ice hockey's NHL and IIHF World Championship, mixed martial arts' UFC and North America's Major League Baseball.