Nordic Entertainment (Nent) Group has acquired rights to a host of winter sports properties in the Nordics from the Infront agency, landing a blow to public-service broadcasters in the region.
Nent’s five-year deal with Infront starts in 2021-22 and is for exclusive rights to the following International Ski Federation (FIS) events:
- Mens and Womens FIS Alpine Ski World Cup
- Mens and Womens FIS Cross Country World Cup
- Mens and Womens FIS Ski Jumping World Cup
- Mens FIS Nordic Combined World Cup
- Mens and Womens FIS Snowboard World Cup
- Mens and Womens FIS Freestyle Ski and Freeski World Cup
- FIS World Ski Championships in 2023 and 2025.
The move will come as a disappointment to public-service broadcasters SVT (in Sweden), NRK (in Norway) and YLE (in Finland). All three currently hold rights to FIS World Cup events, in five-season deals from 2016-17 to 2020-21, and the 2019 and 2021 Alpine and Nordic World Championships.
SVT sports director Åsa E. Jönsson said on Thursday that the broadcaster had tried to renew rights but Nent’s ability to bid across each country in the Nordics meant it had the upper hand.
Infront acquired global rights to the 2023 and 2025 Alpine and Nordic World Championships last year, and sells the rights to almost all World Cup events through a series of deals with the national skiing federations.