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Nent adds more winter sports with ISU deal

Nordic Entertainment (Nent) Group announced on Thursday the acquisition of exclusive rights to International Skating Union events in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden, adding to its growing portfolio of winter sports rights.

The four-season deal, from 2019-20 to 2022-23, was agreed with the Infront agency, which has global rights to ISU events after agreeing a deal with governing body earlier this year.

Nent’s deal includes rights to the following:

  • ISU Speed Skating Championships
  • ISU World Cup Speed Skating
  • ISU Short Track Speed Skating Championships
  • ISU World Cup Short Track Speed Skating
  • ISU Figure Skating Championships
  • ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating
  • ISU World Synchronised Skating Championships.

Nent will exploit rights on its Viasat pay-television channels, Viaplay OTT platform and has promised “substantial exposure” on its fee-to-air channels.

The deal is the latest winter sports acquisitions by Nent, with the most high-profile being its agreement with Infront for rights to a package of Fédération Internationale de Ski (Fis) World Cup events, from 2021-22 to 2025-26, as well as the 2023 and 2025 Alpine and Nordic World Ski Championships.

Rights to ISU events have historically been held by the public-service broadcaster in each Nordic market – Denmark (DR), Finland (YLE), Norway (NRK) and Sweden (SVT) – through pan-regional deals agreed by the European Broadcasting Union, Europe’s consortium of public-service broadcasters.

The EBU’s most recent deal with the ISU ran from 2015-16 to 2018-19. ISU’s new global deal with Infront meant there was always a risk that the agency would look away from EBU members when selling rights in the individual territories.