Peter Norrelund, chief sports officer at European media heavyweight Viaplay, will resign from his position in April, it has been announced today (March 28).
Norrelund, who will “remain available to the company throughout his notice period," said: “I’m grateful to have been part of such an amazing journey over the past two decades. I can’t think of a faster-moving or more innovative media company – and the dynamic launches in new markets in recent years have been the most exciting time in my professional life.
“Now it’s time to try something else, and I leave Viaplay Sports in good shape and ready for the next phase, with an amazing portfolio of rights and super-strong operational people who will ensure Viaplay is always in the forefront when it comes to world-class sports.”
Anders Jensen, group president and chief executive at Viaplay, will assume responsibility for Viaplay Sports until a successor to Norrelund is found, or until a “revised organisational structure” is presented.
Norrelund first joined Modern Times Group (MTG), Viaplay’s parent company, in 2003, and was made group head of sports in 2013.
When Nordic Entertainment Group – which formally transitioned into Viaplay in May last year – split from MTG in 2018, Norrelund initially served as an advisor to Jensen on sports rights, before becoming chief sports officer three years ago.
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Jensen added: “It has been a true pleasure to work with Peter as we have built Viaplay Group into the European sports streaming powerhouse that we are today. Peter has been instrumental in our success across our 11 European markets.
“After a long and successful tenure, it is only natural that Peter now wants to pursue new professional challenges and we wish him all the very best.”
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 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 service increased its subscriber base by 83% year-on-year to 7.3 million, it was announced in February.
The platform added 890,000 new paying subscribers in the fourth fiscal quarter of 2022. At the end of the year, there were 4.6 million subscribers in the Nordic markets and 2.7 million in international territories.
The US and Canadian launches took Viaplay’s D2C market footprint to 13, having initially launched across the Nordic countries in 2007.
Launches in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland are also planned this year.