Further information regarding Coronavirus impact and positive operating indicators for Viaplay
Nordic Entertainment Group (NENT Group), the Nordic region’s leading streaming company, will not report media rights costs for postponed sports events in its income statement until such time as the events take place. According to the terms of its contracts with sports rights owners, NENT Group expects to receive compensation for any events that are cancelled due to the spread of the Coronavirus around the world. NENT Group is not making any new payments for postponed events.
The temporary price reduction for Viaplay direct to consumer sports packages including Sports across all Nordic markets has been received well and with limited churn effects. The total Viaplay subscriber base has continued to grow every day. Additional content is being made available and viewing levels, when excluding the sports coverage, have been up in the last few days. Total streamed minutes on Viaplay across the Nordics (excluding sports coverage) were up 44% last week compared to the same week in 2019, and up 13% compared to the previous week. Started streams and streamed minutes (excluding sports coverage) were up 25% and 21%, respectively, on Saturday and Sunday when compared to the previous weekend. Transaction Video-On-Demand consumption was also up 64% on Saturday and Sunday when compared to the previous weekend, with kids’ movies seeing the biggest category increase. The Sports package subscribers watched 34% more minutes and started 25% more streams of non-sports content this weekend when compared to the previous weekend.
The major sports events or competitions that have been postponed or paused, and to which NENT Group holds the media rights, include the Premier League, UEFA Champions League, Superliga, NHL and Bundesliga. This weekend’s Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix was also cancelled. Viaplay’s unique offering of original productions, international films and series, and premium kids’ content is unchanged. NENT Group is working with distributors of its sports TV channels who wish to take initiatives to adjust the pricing of their offers due to the cancellation or postponement of sports events.
As stated previously, the spread of the Coronavirus is having an adverse impact on the Group’s performance, which will put at risk NENT Group’s previously stated ambition to deliver profitable growth for the full year 2020. This impact includes lower advertising demand levels, which accounted for 26% of Group sales in 2019. Further updates will be provided at the Group’s Q1 earnings call on 23 April, if not before.
Anders Jensen, NENT Group President and CEO: “We are facing an unprecedented situation that is evolving every day, but we remain in good shape and are fully focused on navigating our business through these difficult times. Our top priorities are the wellbeing of our employees and continuing to deliver the best possible value to our customers. The temporary price reduction on our Viaplay direct to consumer sports packages has been received well, and it is good to see that viewing levels on Viaplay are increasing significantly and the customer base is continuing to grow. We are adding more and more short-term alternatives in sports and even more of the great original productions, series, movies and kids’ content that make Viaplay the Nordic region’s leading streaming service and home of great entertainment experiences. We are not making any additional payments for events that have been postponed and, if postponements lead to cancellations, we expect the rights owners to honour their contractual obligations and reimburse us for the payments already made.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
Nordic Entertainment Group AB (publ) (NENT Group) is the Nordic region’s leading entertainment provider. We entertain millions of people every day with our streaming services, TV channels and radio stations, and our production companies create content that is experienced around the world. We make life more entertaining by telling stories, touching lives and expanding worlds – from live sports, movies and series to music and original shows. Headquartered in Stockholm, NENT Group is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm (‘NENT A’ and ‘NENT B’).
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