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Nent snares F1 rights in Finland and Iceland in pan-Nordic deal

Kimi Räikkönen of Finland and Alfa Romeo Racing (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)

The Nordic Entertainment (Nent) Group has retained exclusive rights to motor racing’s Formula 1 in Denmark, Norway and Sweden, while also securing the rights in Finland and Iceland in the broadcaster’s latest high-profile sports rights agreement.

The exclusive pan-Nordic three-season agreement runs from 2022 to 2024, and represents a blow to Finland’s commercial broadcaster MTV3 and sister pay-television operator C More, the incumbent rights-holder in a popular market for Formula 1.

Nent said today (Wednesday): “For the first time, Nent Group’s Viaplay streaming service will be the home of Formula 1 in Finland, where stars such as Kimi Räikkönen rank among the country’s most famous sportspeople and Formula 1 attracts huge and passionate audiences. Viaplay will also be the home of Formula 1 in Iceland, where the service will launch in the coming months.”

Stöð 2 Sport, the pay-television channel owned by media company Sýn, is the incumbent rights-holder in Iceland.

Along with streaming coverage on Viaplay, Nent will also broadcast each race on its Viasat pay-television channels and air highlights on its free-to-air channels. As part of the agreement, Nent has committed to working with Formula 1 to promote the availability of F1 TV Pro, the series’ own OTT subscription platform.

The exclusive rights were awarded to Nent without the announcement of a formal tender process.

Along with Alfa Romeo Racing’s Räikkönen, there will also be local interest in Denmark’s Kevin Magnussen of the Haas F1 Team.

As per the terms of Nent’s current agreement, the broadcaster will show the Formula 2, Formula 3 and Porsche Supercup support series.

Anders Jensen, Nent Group president and chief executive, said: “This is the first time that Formula 1 will be shown on the same platform in every Nordic country. Once again, we are announcing a pioneering agreement that underlines our position as the region’s leading streaming company.

“In a short time, Nent Group has secured the pan-Nordic rights to Formula 1, Premier League (excluding Iceland), FIS winter sports, the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, Bundesliga and much more.”

Ian Holmes, Formula 1 director of media rights, added: “Nent Group has been a long-term partner of Formula 1 in the Nordic region, and its position as a highly popular multi-platform TV broadcaster and streamer, and its addition of Finland and Iceland, will offer our fans in the region the best access to the F1 season and all the drama on track.”

Nent retained its Formula 1 rights in Denmark, Norway and Sweden (from 2019 to 2021) in a deal agreed in the middle of 2018. At the same time, MTV3 and C More retained the rights in Finland, also for three years.

The broadcaster’s recent headline deal was its €2.3bn ($2.5bn) six-year rights agreement for Premier League rights in the Nordic region (from 2022-23 to 2027-28). A renewal of its Bundesliga rights followed just days later.

Nent will also be looking to retain its Uefa Champions League rights with the sales process having now been launched in the Nordic region, as exclusively reported by SportBusiness.