Ex-Discovery executive Osmanbegovic leads Swedish production firm’s sports move

Emir Osmanbegovic, the sports media executive who previously headed up Eurosport’s international sports production activities, is to lead a newly-created sports arm at Nexiko, the independent production company with offices in Stockholm, Oslo and Los Angeles.

The production company is making its move into sports production and has hired Osmanbegovic (pictured) as founder and chief executive of Nexiko Sport.

Osmanbegovic last year left his Paris-based role as Discovery’s senior vice-president of sports content and production to head back to Stockholm. He also stems from a rights acquisitions background through his time as sports director at Discovery Networks Sweden and, before that, head of football at Swedish commercial broadcaster TV4.

Production work has already been secured by the Stockholm-based Nexiko Sport with Discovery’s free-to-air channel Kanal 5 and OTT service DPlay.

Nexiko is entering the sports production space as it looks to maximise opportunities in Sweden, where media houses have a tendency to outsource production for entertainment programming and scripted content, but have often retained production in-house for sports given a lack of external options.

Osmanbegovic told SportBusiness: “The Nordics is a very dynamic market with tough and unpredictable fights for sports rights. With that in mind, Nexiko Sport can provide much needed flexibility and world-class multi-platform production of sports content for media houses, federations, clubs and potential new market players.

“Nexiko Sport is all about great storytelling, that’s our first, second and third priority. It doesn’t matter if it’s a coverage of a live event, a behind-the-scenes documentary or an exclusive interview, there is nothing better than a good story.”

Nexiko Sport is expected to recruit between 10 and 12 staff (mostly freelancers) this year as it begins its operations, albeit that number could rise depending on new contracts won.

Nexiko was founded (as Mexiko Media) in 2012 by Lars Beckung, formerly director of programming at Kanal 5, Mikael Svensson, previously chief executive of Swedish production firm STO-CPH, and Swedish television personalities Filip Hammar and Fredrik Wikingsson.

In recent years, the Stockholm-based company has expanded its operations to Norway and the United States and has moved into the production of feature films and branded content.

Osmanbegovic came to prominence in the international sports business sector during the Discovery-led restructuring of Eurosport in March 2018 that followed Peter Hutton’s departure as chief executive. It was at that time that Osmanbegovic was named to a position heading up Eurosport’s international sports production, along with regional sports production, including Olympic production.

His time in charge of Discovery Networks Sweden’s sports operation coincided with Discovery’s push for premium local content in the Nordic region.

Following on from the acquisition of rights to Uefa qualifiers for the European Championships and World Cup, Discovery went on to sign a six-year deal for rights to Swedish football’s top-tier Allsvenskan.