Swedish streaming firm goals to be Netflix’s major challenger in Europe

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A Swedish TV streaming firm is positioning itself as a European challenger to Netflix because it pushes out from its Scandinavian stronghold additional into the continent and the US by providing a mixture of Nordic drama and sport.

Nordic Leisure Group (Nent) mentioned on Tuesday it could enter Poland and the US subsequent 12 months, in addition to the three Baltic states and 5 different unnamed European international locations by 2023, because it seeks to compete in a worldwide streaming market dominated by US gamers similar to Netflix, Disney, HBO and Amazon.

Nent can be contemplating a secondary itemizing within the US to spice up its visibility and permit higher comparisons to different streaming firms, in accordance with chief govt Anders Jensen.

“That is, for my part, the most important enterprise into streaming in Europe ever. We’re defining ourselves as a progress firm out of a Nordic success story,” Mr Jensen instructed the Monetary Instances.

Nent is a fraction of the scale of the US streaming giants with its Viaplay service having 2.8m subscribers on the finish of September. It plans to double its Nordic subscribers to 6m by 2025 and add about 4.5m paying prospects internationally within the subsequent 5 years.

Analysts at Citigroup known as the expansion plans “strikingly formidable” however warned that they needed to be balanced with “comparatively excessive execution danger” and the necessity to increase capital.

Shares in Nent, which have risen greater than two-thirds because it was spun out of Swedish media firm Trendy Instances Group final 12 months, rose 7 per cent to a file excessive of SKr394.2.

Nent chief govt Anders Jensen: ‘That is, for my part, the most important enterprise into streaming in Europe ever’

There are virtually no pure-play European streaming firms, with most companies on the continent offered by nationwide legacy TV teams. “We’re the one actual contender proper now,” Mr Jensen mentioned. “We now have carved out a management place. We expect there’s a job for Nordic and European content material on a worldwide scale.”

Nent markets itself as broader than Netflix, providing not simply leisure — a lot of which it produces itself — but additionally sports activities. Its major promoting level for getting into Poland is a four-year unique contract to broadcast German Bundesliga soccer with curiosity within the nation excessive as a result of Polish star Robert Lewandowski taking part in for Bayern Munich.

The enterprise mannequin for streaming sports activities stays unproven. Netflix has up to now steered clear of shopping for stay sports activities rights due to costly prices, with Reed Hastings, the Netflix founder, saying it provides “no long run profitability, nothing defensible”.

Within the US, Viaplay might be promoted on the power of its Nordic dramas, as Mr Jensen mentioned there have been rising indicators that American shoppers have been opening up for non-English language content material.

Nent’s US enterprise has some similarities with BritBox US, a BBC Studios and ITV three way partnership that has attracted about 1.5m subscribers because it launched in America three years in the past.

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