Viaplay, TV2 settle Premier League clips case out of court

Subscription broadcaster Viaplay and its Norwegian commercial rival TV2 have settled their legal dispute out of court over the use of clips from English Premier League matches.

The case was due to be heard on November 7 at the court of appeal after both parties appealed the initial Oslo District Court judgement in February.

Viaplay took legal action following TV2’s use of clips from seven Premier League matches in the first four rounds of the 2022-23 season and when there was particular local interest following Erling Haaland’s transfer to Manchester City. Viaplay holds exclusive rights across the Nordics in a six-year contract running until the end of the 2027-28 season.

A joint statement today (Friday) read: “The parties have now agreed a settlement, which means the appeal case will be withdrawn and the judgment from the Oslo District Court will become final. The terms of the settlement are confidential.”

Following Viaplay’s initial claim for damages submitted in September last year, TV2 was ordered to pay compensation under Norway’s intellectual property laws, along with NOK1.2m (€101,000/$108,000) of legal costs, according to Norwegian media outlet Kampanje. TV2 argued that the use of the clips was covered by Norwegian regulations that allow news outlets to use content of “great interest to the public”.

Peter Nørrelund, Viaplay’s executive vice-president and chief sports and business development officer, said: “We are pleased to reach this settlement with TV2. It provides clarity to the market and reflects our position that investments in premium sports content should be properly protected, which benefits all parties and viewers.”

Lene Eltvik Vindfeld, TV2’s communications director, noted that the broadcaster wanted to avoid expensive legal proceedings and that it can “live with” the settlement now struck with Viaplay.

She continued: “Although we would have liked a lower threshold for news rights, based on industry practice, than the district court established, it is positive to have a legal clarification, so that both those who own rights and those who use clips know what they have to deal with.”

TV2 previously held rights to the Premier League in the country since 2010.

The Premier League is hugely popular in Norway, with national team stars Haaland and Martin Ødegaard among the standout performers. Viaplay acquired the exclusive Premier League rights in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden in a landmark six-year deal and as the total rights fee soared well above the €2bn ($2.16bn) mark.

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