By Stuart Thomson
Bonnier Broadcasting-owned pay TV channels provider C More has secured the Swedish rights to La Liga and Serie A football, along with US Major League Soccer from Endeavor-owned sports agency IMG, signalling the end of the latter’s attempt to build a sports streaming business in the market.
The rights to all three leagues were previously owned by IMG and distributed on the Strive streaming service. Bonnier said that to enable Strive customers to make the transition to C More, the three competitions would be distributed on both platforms for a short period.
The acquisition will give C More the rights to the 2019-2021 seasons of La Liga and Serie A, while it will hold MLS rights until 2022. Just over 1,100 marches will be aired on the service over the period.
“We are very delighted to be able to offer our customers even more world class football this weekend. Our ultimate ambition is to bring together sports that are relevant to a wide audience, and having followed the growing interest in these leagues, we see that they are a perfect complement to our existing line up of strong content, not least of all national football,” said head of sports channels, TV4 and C More, Johan Cederqvist.
He said that Strive had successfully attracted “the many La Liga and Serie A fans that exist in Sweden” but that C More would “refine the customer experience” by tapping C More’s expertise in high-quality broadcasting, a broad content offering and an easily accessible service.
CEO of IMG, Kristian Hysén said that he was “glad that these rights have ended up in such experienced hands”.
The plan for the closure of Strive comes four months after IMG struck distribution deals for the service for a new linear TV channel with Telia and Telenor. Strive will reportedly continue to operate in the Danish and Norwegian markets following the closure of the Swedish business.-DTVE