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Nent wins Swedish national team rights in first six-year Uefa deal

UEFA European Championship trophy (FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)

Nordic Entertainment (Nent) Group, the Stockholm-based media group, has secured broadcast rights in Sweden to the country’s qualifying matches for the Uefa European Championship and Fifa World Cup, along with its matches in the Uefa Nations League in a six-year agreement.

The deal is the first agreed by Uefa and its appointed CAA Eleven agency to cover the expanded six-season term from 2022 to 2028.

The long-term agreement includes at least 60 Swedish national team matches during the period, including every friendly played by Sweden (both home and away). Rights to over 1,200 international matches in total have been secured by Nent in a deal announced late this afternoon.

Rights to the European qualifying matches to Euro 2024, the 2026 Fifa World Cup and Euro 2028 have been acquired by Nent, plus the Uefa Nations League tournaments in 2022, 2024 and 2026 (including the Nations League finals in 2023, 2025 and 2027).

All Swedish national team matches will be aired on Nent’s TV3 channel with the extensive inventory of matches also to be showcased on Nent’s Viaplay streaming service.

The Bonnier-owned TV4 is the incumbent rights-holder in Sweden for the European qualifying matches and the Uefa Nations League.

On the back of the new sales mandate with Uefa, CAA Eleven is taking the international rights to market for six seasons, as exclusively reported by SportBusiness last month. CAA Eleven previously marketed the rights in four-year cycles.

CAA Eleven recently issued an invitation to tender in the Nordic markets with rights on offer also including the Euro 2024 and Euro 2028 finals themselves.

A first-round bid deadline of August 26 was set and the sales process entered a second round in Sweden, with second-round bids lodged on Tuesday, SportBusiness understands.

Separate but concurrent sales processes are being carried out for the European Championship rights (Euro 2024 and Euro 2028) and the ‘Uefa National Team Football’ rights (Uefa Nations League, European Qualifiers, and friendly matches). Broadcasters interested in acquiring rights to Euro 2028 as well as Euro 2024 were asked to lodge separate bids on a standalone basis.

An early sales process for Euro 2024 rights only was concluded in Germany last year (with telco Deutsche Telekom securing the rights), but that was considered an individual case as Uefa and CAA Eleven moved early to secure a lucrative agreement in the host country.

The rights on offer during CAA Eleven’s 2022-28 cycle also reflect an evolution of the interaction between broadcasters and sponsors as a means of easing broadcasters’ commercial concerns. Maximum exposure is still being targeted, but the tender documents are set to be shaped in such a way that emerging digital and OTT platforms – and not solely linear broadcasters – could fulfil the necessary minimum broadcast obligations.

Rights to the Nations League, European Qualifiers and centralised friendly matches during the 2018-22 cycle are held elsewhere in the Nordic region by Discovery (Denmark), Nent (Finland) and TV2 (Norway).

Earlier this year, the English Premier League also chose the Nordic region in which to invite bids for rights across six seasons, from 2022-23 to 2027-28, and subsequently struck a deal with Nent.

Commenting on the addition of the Swedish national team rights, Anders Jensen, Nent’s group president and chief executive said: “This is a great time to take on these rights as a thrilling crop of young players will peak in the years to come. Viaplay is already the home of Sweden’s hugely popular national ice hockey and handball teams, and soon FIS winter sports too. International football with ‘Blågult’ is a perfect addition to our portfolio. This is a very strong property that will have significant value for us for many years to come.”

Guy-Laurent Epstein, Uefa’s director of marketing, added: “We are delighted to enter this long-term partnership with Nent Group, who will provide a solid home for the Swedish national team and all other European national team matches from 2022 through to 2028 across their platforms.”