European media heavyweight Viaplay has today (June 14) announced that Peter Nørrelund, who left the company in April, has returned under a new role as part of another leadership reshuffle.

He will take up the position of executive vice president and chief sports and sports business development officer and report to Jørgen Madsen Lindemann, who was appointed as Viaplay Group’s new president and chief executive earlier this month.

Cecilia Gave, who previously held the position of executive vice president and head of sports and a range of other senior management roles, will leave the company to pursue new opportunities.

Nørrelund was previously Viaplay’s chief sports officer and spent more than 20 years at the media giant before leaving this spring.

Under his new role, he will hold overall responsibility for Viaplay Group’s sports operations and sports rights management and acquisitions in all markets.

In addition, Nørrelund will lead a new cross-market sports business development unit that will focus on maximizing revenue and product opportunities for the group’s sports content.

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By GlobalData

He will be a member of the group executive management team and be based in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Nørrelund said: “This was simply too good a chance to turn down. Viaplay Group has a highly talented team and many possibilities to drive business and realize the full potential of our rights portfolio, which is simply the best in the industry.

“My priority is to improve our existing revenue streams and create new ones. I’m full of energy ahead of this challenge and feel certain that great opportunities lie ahead of us.”

Lindemann added: “I’m thrilled that Peter is joining us again. I’ve worked closely with Peter for most of my career and Viaplay Group will benefit enormously from his remarkable network, knowledge, and experience in the years to come.

“As well as overseeing Europe’s leading sports production team, Peter will be instrumental in ensuring we get the best possible returns from our sports investments.”

Nørrelund first joined Modern Times Group (MTG), Viaplay’s parent company, in 2003, and was made group head of sports in 2013.

Following Nørrelund’s departure, chief executive Anders Jensen assumed responsibility for Viaplay Sports.

However, Jensen resigned last week after the Sweden-based media and entertainment company downgraded its business forecast for this year and warned of a downturn in television and radio advertising markets.

In a turbulent period for the company, Lindemann, the former chief executive of MTG, was announced as Jensen’s replacement.

The leadership change came after Viaplay announced a downgrade of its short-term outlook for 2023 due to “sharp and rapid deterioration in the television and radio advertising markets.”

Viaplay is now available in 13 countries, including the UK where it launched in Q4 of 2022 after acquiring Irish pay-TV operator Premier Sports, and in North America through the launch of its direct-to-consumer (DTC) product in the US (February) and Canada (early March).

Its content is also available in 20 other markets through the curated Viaplay Select offering.

The US and Canadian launches took Viaplay’s DTC market footprint to 13, having initially launched across the Nordic countries in 2007.

Launches in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland are also planned this year.