Norwegian commercial and pay-television broadcaster TV2 has agreed a deal to take over pay-television broadcaster C More’s sports operation in Norway.
The agreement means TV2 will assume all of C More’s Norwegian sports rights, including those for the Tippeligaen, the top division of football in the country. C More’s sports portfolio also includes rights to the Spanish Liga and Italy’s Serie A.
The deal has been confirmed following several months of negotiations, with TV2 assuming all the obligations of C More Norway in the Norwegian market. However, the takeover has to be approved by Norway’s Competition Authority and until this time, TV2 and C More will maintain their independent sales of sports packages.
TV2’s administrative director and chief editor Olav Sandnes told the Kampanje.com website: “We have submitted the case to the Competition Authority, and it's said that the Authority does not provide advance rulings on this. The Authority will treat this as a normal case, but it is also our assessment that this will be the best for the consumer.”
However, pan-Nordic basic-tier and pay-television broadcaster SBS Discovery Media has expressed its concern over the deal.
Chief executive Harald Stromme said: “A merged TV2 and C More will be dominant in the pay-TV market, and if they get an opportunity to create a monopoly on the (English) Premier League and the Tippeligaen, they get a negotiating power that in reality puts market mechanisms out of place.”
C More Sport in Norway currently possesses rights for six of eight games from each round of the Tippeligaen, as well as international rights in football, hockey, tennis, golf, motor sports, equestrian and extreme sports.