Commercial and pay-television broadcaster TV2 has acquired Uefa Champions League rights in Norway from 2021-22 onwards, following on from rival Nordic Entertainment (Nent) Group’s announcement earlier this month that it had lost out on retaining the contract.
The new three-season deal, from 2021-22 to 2023-24, is for exclusive rights to all 138 matches. All matches will be available on its TV2 Sumo over-the-top streaming service, whilst selected matches will broadcast on its TV2 Sports 1 channel. The final will be broadcast on its flagship free-to-air TV2 channel.
Champions League rights in Norway have been held by Nent since the inception of the competition in 1992.
TV2 currently sublicenses non-exclusive rights to 30 Champions League matches per season in the current 2018-29 to 2020-21 cycle, from Nent.
Nent announced earlier this month that it had acquired exclusive rights to the Champions League in Denmark and exclusive rights to the Uefa Europa League and Europa Conference League in Finland, Norway and Sweden, from 2021-22 to 2023-24. However, the broadcaster lost the Champions League rights in Norway and Sweden.
Telia, the telecoms group that owns Bonnier Broadcasting, has secured the Champions League rights in Sweden.
Nent does not currently hold any Uefa club competition rights in Finland. Exclusive rights to both Champions League and Europa League are currently held by MTV3 and the Telia-owned pay-television broadcaster is the standout candidate to have secured the rights in Finland for the next three-season cycle.
Anders Jensen, president and chief executive officer of Nent, said on April 9: “We made a bid for the Champions League in Norway and Sweden which I believe was reasonable in terms of making money from the investment. But we weren’t even close, so someone else has put a lot more money on the table.”
Speaking last week, Jensen said the price inflation for Champions League rights in Norway and Sweden had “moved well beyond what we could justify.”
The Champions League acquisition will be a boost to TV2, which recently lost out in the latest tender for English Premier League rights, from 2022-23 to Nent, which acquired the rights in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden in a landmark six-season deal that runs until 2027-28.
TV2 has held the Premier League rights in the country over the last four cycles, since the 2010-11 season. The rights are the biggest subscription driver in Norway.
Uefa’s exclusive sales agency for club competitions, Team Marketing, initiated the sales process for media rights in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden on February 25, with a bid deadline of 10am (CET) on March 31. There were two concurrent sales processes for each territory in the region. One covered the Uefa Champions League, Uefa Super Cup and Uefa Youth League, with the other covering the Europa League and new third-tier Europa Conference League.
Three Champions League packages were offered in the Nordics tender.
Package ‘A1’ included the 16 first-pick Tuesday-evening matches each season, plus Tuesday highlights and 33 magazine programmes (per season). Rights to 16 first-pick Wednesday-evening matches each season were included in package ‘A2’, along with rights to the Champions League final and the Super Cup, plus Wednesday highlights and 33 magazine programmes.
Meanwhile, package B included a total of 104 live matches per season or, in other words, the Champions League matches not selected in packages A1 and A2. Delayed and archive rights, plus Tuesday and Wednesday highlights. The rights to the Uefa Youth League, were also part of this package.