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IMG sells Strive package to TV2 in Denmark, OTT to be only available in Norway

The IMG agency has sold its entire portfolio of football rights that it was exploiting on its OTT service Strive in Denmark to commercial broadcaster TV2.

The deal, which begins on January 4, gives TV2 exclusive rights in the country to Spain’s LaLiga, Italy’s Serie A and US Major League Soccer. Its rights to both European leagues will run until the end of the 2020-21 season, whilst rights to the MLS will run until 2022.

TV2 already had an existing agreement with IMG, covering 2019-20 and 2020-21, which only allows the broadcaster to show one match from either LaLiga or Serie A per match-week. This agreement was already due to be expanded in 2020 when TV2’s new channel TV2 Sport X is due to be launched.

Strive will continue to broadcast the three leagues until the end of the year, when its coverage will cease, and the OTT platform will no longer be available in Denmark. IMG agreed a similar deal in Sweden earlier this year when it sold the same set of rights to media group Bonnier.

The service will continue to be available in Norway. IMG also has a linear Strive Sport channel in the country that it has a distribution agreement with the IPTV platform Altibox.

IMG acquired rights to LaLiga (across Scandinavia) and Serie A (internationally), from 2018-19 to 2020-21. It holds international rights to MLS until 2022.

The agency sold LaLiga rights in Finland to commercial broadcaster MTV3 and Serie A rights to commercial and pay-television broadcaster Nelonen across the same cycle. In the remaining three territories, IMG received no bids which it deemed acceptable. As a consequence, it then decided to take the step to launch the Strive platform.

LaLiga and Serie A rights in the previous cycle, from 2015-16 to 2018-19, were distributed in the Nordics by the now-defunct MP & Silva agency, which sold the rights to the Nordic Entertainment (Nent) Group.