MTG: VIASAT PAY-TV PACKAGES TO BE MADE AVAILABLE IN TELENOR IPTV OFFERINGS
Modern Times Group MTG AB (publ.) (‘MTG’ or ‘the Group’), the international entertainment broadcasting group, today announced that Viasat Broadcasting has signed a long term agreement with Telenor Norge AS (‘Telenor’), which will enable Viasat to distribute its premium pay-TV channel packages to Telenor’s broadband customers. Telenor had 623,000 broadband customers in Norway and 574,000 broadband customers in Sweden at the end of 2009. Viasat’s channel packages will continue to be available to Telenor subsidiary Bredbandsbolaget’s subscribers in Sweden and will also be included in Telenor’s IPTV offering in Norway, which is expected to be launched for fibre-connected broadband customers during the Spring of 2010.
Viasat’s Swedish free-TV channels (TV3, TV6, TV8 and ZTV) and Norwegian free-TV channels (TV3 and Viasat4) will be included in Telenor’s own basic IPTV packages, whilst Viasat’s Gold (Movie, Sport, Children and Documentary packages) and Silver (Children and Documentary packages) pay-TV packages and its Viasat OnDemand services will be marketed and distributed to Telenor’s broadband customers in Sweden and Norway. The Viasat OnDemand offering includes the catch-up services for Viasat’s free-TV and pay-TV channels, as well as subscription video on demand and pay-per-view or pay-per-day services. Viasat’s premium IPTV subscriber base grew by 77% in 2009 to 138,000 subscribers. Hans-Holger Albrecht, President & CEO of MTG, commented: “The first IPTV agreement that we signed was with Bredbandsbolaget in Sweden back in 2004 and this new agreement with Telenor means that we now have IPTV agreements with all of the major Scandinavian broadband operators. “These agreements are part of our “anytime anywhere” strategy to make our free-TV channels as broadly available as possible and to attract subscribers to our packaged pay-TV content on multiple distribution platforms. Telenor is the largest broadband operator in Scandinavia and this deal indicates the clear and growing demand for our portfolio of high-rating free-TV channels and wide range of popular premium pay-TV content. IPTV distribution is complementary to our own DTH satellite platform, and enables us to address households that we have not been able to reach before.” ***