Embattled European broadcaster Viaplay and Dutch telecoms group Talpa have today unveiled a sports-centric linear TV partnership.

From April 5 (Friday), the SBS9 channel run by Talpa will be rebranded as Viaplay TV for a Netherlands audience. Revenues through the partnership will be shared.

Through this tie-up, the channel will “show selected content from the Viaplay streaming service’s portfolio of premium sports.”

The first such content to be aired through this new agreement will be the second free practice session from the Formula 1 (F1) Japanese Grand Prix later this week.

Additional sporting content to be covered in April includes English Premier League (EPL) soccer, Premier League darts, and the F1 Chinese Grand Prix.

The collaboration also entails Viaplay TV showing entertainment series and films from the Talpa Network stable. The channel will be made available to Netherlands audiences “through all major TV distributors.”

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Viaplay went live in the Netherlands in March 2022, with its two biggest sporting offerings thus far having been F1 and EPL action.

Peter Norrelund, executive vice president and chief sports and business development officer at Viaplay Group, said: “Talpa Network is a well-established Dutch player with outstanding reach. This partnership will showcase Viaplay’s premium sports portfolio, which is the most attractive and relevant anywhere in the Netherlands, to a broad audience and open up new revenue opportunities.”

Joost Brakel, Talpa Network’s chief executive, added: “We are fully committed to our open media strategy and this means that we constantly look in the market for opportunities to collaborate with attractive partners.”

This news comes after it was announced that Viaplay would complete the sale of its UK business back to the Premier Sports broadcaster on April 4.

This deal was initially announced by Viaplay in late November, and has now received final approval from the relevant Irish authorities (Premier Sports is based in Dublin).

The sports content line-up will not be affected, and existing subscriptions will be automatically transferred.

Viaplay has faced severe financial difficulties since mid-2023, with the company having to undertake a change in strategy that saw downsizing and layoffs in multiple markets announced. Amid this, Viaplay revealed its intentions to exit the UK streaming market, and to concentrate moving forward on its key territories of the Nordic countries, and the Netherlands.

Viaplay originally purchased Premier Sports, along with its suite of sports rights, in 2022, with the Premier Sports 1, Premier Sports 2 and FreeSports channels rebranded under the Viaplay moniker.

In late March, Viaplay unveiled a sub-licensing deal in Denmark and Sweden with Amazon. Through this tie-up, Amazon’s Prime Video streaming service will be able to show EPL action to fans in those countries, from 2024-25 for four seasons.