Nent retains Ski Classics in Denmark, adds rights in Iceland

Photo credit: Visma Ski Classics

The Nordic Entertainment (Nent) Group has extended its media rights in Denmark to the Ski Classics series of long-distance skiing events.

The agreement with the W Sportsmedia agency, rights-holder for Ski Classics, also allows Nent to offer coverage in Iceland from the first half of 2020 onwards.

During the 2018-19 season, races were covered by Nent’s TV3 Sport channel.

Nent’s deal follows on from the recent acquisition of Ski Classics rights in the US, Canada and Australia by international pay-TV broadcaster beIN Media Group.

Action from the Ski Classics has also been streamed live on the official Ski Classics Play service, which is priced at €6.99 ($7.61) for a day pass, €9.99 per month or €39.99 per year.
Nent’s agreement represents its latest piece of winter sports acquisition business. In October, Nent announced a five-year agreement, from 2024 to 2028, for exclusive rights in the Nordic countries to the IIHF World Championships and the two annual Division I tournaments (both Group A and B).

Nent has been aggressively pursuing exclusive winter sports rights in 2019, with the acquisition of International Skating Union events from 2019-20, as well as a package of Fédération Internationale de Ski (Fis) World Cup events from 2021-22, and the 2023 and 2025 Alpine and Nordic World Ski Championships.

Nent Group operates the Viaplay and Viafree streaming services plus the Viasat pay-TV channels and various free-to-air channels.

The W Sportsmedia team attended October’s Sportel trade fair in Monaco, holding meetings in their Pro Tour trailer on show outside the Grimaldi Forum.

David Nilsson, chief executive of W Sportsmedia, said after the event: “I’ve seen a lot of new players, smaller OTT services, that are stepping into the arena, but live sport events still seem to be the best content that traditional TV media can get. Streaming services may rule in entertainment content, but traditional TV is strong when it comes to sports, particularly live broadcasts.”

Ski Classics’ opening Pro Tour event of the 2019-20 season takes place in Livigno, Italy on November 29. The 12th round will be held in Ylläs-Levi, Finland on April 4.