Osmanbegovic returns to Discovery to oversee sports production in Sweden

Emir Osmanbegovic, the sports media executive who previously headed up Eurosport’s international sports production activities, has returned to Discovery on a full-time consultancy basis in a role overseeing the broadcaster’s production in Sweden of domestic football and the Olympics.

Osmanbegovic has reached an 18-month consultancy agreement that will end after the 2022 winter Olympics in Beijing.

At the start of the year, Osmanbegovic was named founder and chief executive of the sports arm of Nexiko, the independent production company with offices in Stockholm, Oslo and Los Angeles.

However, he is now understood to have given up his chief executive role at Nexiko Sport and will not have any operational involvement at the company during his consultancy work at Discovery Networks Sweden.

Swedish football’s Allsvenskan, the delayed 2020 summer Olympics in Tokyo and Beijing 2022 will be Osmanbegovic’s main focus as he leads the sports production team.

Discovery’s exclusive six-year Allsvenskan rights deal began this year, while the broadcaster holds Olympics rights in Sweden as part of its €1.3bn ($1.54bn) pan-European rights deal (excluding Russia) from 2018 to 2024.

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.

Before the postponement of Tokyo 2020, Nexiko Sport had secured work to produce a prime time programme for Discovery’s free-to-air channel Kanal 5 and OTT service DPlay during the Games.

In launching its sports division, Nexiko looked 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.

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.

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.