Viaplay, the European sports media heavyweight, has agreed a distribution deal with TV3 Group, the prominent media company in the Baltic states.

The media group's full live sports portfolio in the region will be sub-licensed to TV3 Group’s streaming service, Go3 through the deal.

The agreement covers Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania and will see direct Viaplay subscribers in the three countries transferred to Go3 during March.

In December 2023, Viaplay announced its intention to exit the Baltic markets by the summer of 2025.

The company’s sports rights in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania include English soccer’s Premier League, UEFA Champions League, men’s national team soccer, motor racing’s Formula 1, and NHL ice hockey.

All sports content will remain available on Viaplay until the subscriber transfer to Go3 is completed.

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Viaplay’s original non-sports content will become available on third-party platforms in the Baltic region “as and when agreements are signed, either through content sales or Viaplay Select partnerships.”

Jørgen Madsen Lindemann, Viaplay Group president and chief executive, said: “This is the right step for Viaplay Group’s business and for our sports viewers across the Baltic region.

“It enables us to sharpen our operational focus even further on the Nordics, Netherlands, and Viaplay Select, which are the markets where we see the best conditions for growth and profitability, as well as on Poland, where we will operate until mid-2025.

“At the same time, our sports content in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania will be available through a well-established platform operated by a local group.”

Viaplay stated that the agreement “will not impact the previously reported negative cash effect of approximately SEK2.2 billion ($210.2 million) relating to Viaplay Group’s exit from its non-core international operations over the coming years.”

The media group last week announced it is shutting down its direct-to-consumer business in the US and Canada amid a company-wide drive to scale down operations.

The platform will shut down in Canada on February 28 and in the US on February 29, with Viaplay content to be disseminated through the company’s partners in each country via streaming services.

Viaplay had only begun operations in the US and Canada in February and March 2023 respectively, but the service has been hit by severe financial difficulties throughout 2023.

In July, the company announced that it was laying off 25% of its total workforce, around 450 people, as part of a set of restructuring moves slated to cost around $4 million.

These fiscal constraints have also led to Viaplay refocusing on the Nordic market, a decision that has led to it divesting from several key markets globally.

Viaplay holds several sports rights, including for high-profile soccer competitions such as Spain’s top-tier LaLiga, but in November announced it was divesting from one of its biggest markets, the UK, early in 2024.

Viaplay has sold its UK business, and its accompanying suite of rights, back to UK-based network Premier Sports, which had operated in the country up until its purchase by Viaplay in 2022.

At the time, Lindemann stated that the moves were driven by a need to concentrate on markets where the service had long-term viability.

He added that other aspects of the new Viaplay strategy include “rightsizing and pricing our product offering in the Nordics,” undertaking a significant cost reduction effort, and conducting “an immediate strategic review of the entire business.”

At its peak, Viaplay operated in as many as 13 countries.

The financially beleaguered media company recently reported a third-quarter net loss of SEK693 million, with its share price reaching a new low of SEK4.68.

This year has already seen French TV heavyweight Canal Plus and PPF Group, a European investment firm based in Prague, Czech Republic. announce that they will increase their stakes in Viaplay to 29% each. They both took smaller initial stakes in mid-2023.