Sweden-based telecoms firm Telia is reportedly in talks to sell its free-to-air commercial broadcaster TV4 Media five years after acquiring the business.
Swedish media outlet Affaersvaerlden has said Telia is holding talks with several interested buyers, including Nordic media firms Schibsted (Norway), Bonnier (Sweden), and Egmont (Denmark).
Telia acquired TV4 Group from Bonnier in 2019 for SEK10 billion ($906.2 million). However, since then, the broadcaster’s value has fallen dramatically, with Telia citing a downturn in advertising revenues, as well as challenges around premium sports content, as primary factors.
Citing sources close to the matter, Affaersvaerlden said the sale price could be as low as SEK3 billion to SEK4 billion.
Responding to the report, Telia spokesperson Tobias Gyhlenius said the company would not comment on speculation but added: “The media industry is in a big shift, our focus is on returning the TV and media business to profitable sustainable growth, accelerate its digitalization, and become even more relevant for viewers and advertisers.”
Later, Telia released a statement noting the company would have to perform “non-cash impairments” of SEK4.1 billion, including SEK2.8 billion related to its Finnish business and SEK900 million involving its television and media divisions.
TV4 holds several sets of sports rights in Sweden, including the ATP men’s tennis tour, which was taken from media heavyweight Warner Bros. Discovery in October. It also held rights to the women’s WTA tennis tour in a deal struck in 2021.
Other rights it holds include those for American football’s NFL under a three-year deal, as well as soccer’s top-tier UEFA Champions League, Spain’s LaLiga, and Italy’s Serie A. It will also provide coverage in Sweden of soccer's FIFA men’s World Cup in 2026, which will be played across the US, Mexico, and Canada.
It recently launched its C More streaming service, which carries all of its content, including sports.
The news comes as Telia prepares for its president and chief executive Allison Kirkby to leave at the end of this month to become the new chief executive of UK telecommunications heavyweight BT Group.
Kirkby has been at Telia since early 2020, having been president and chief exec at the Danish telecoms firm TDC from 2018 to 2020.