Sky Sports News HD makes international debut with Viasat carriage agreement


WEBWIRE – Friday, February 22, 2013

As part of its international channels activity, BSkyB (Sky) has entered into a multi-year agreement with Modern Times Group (MTG), parent company of European pay TV operator Viasat, that will see Sky Sports News HD and a selection of support programming and features distributed exclusively to sports fans in the Nordic and Baltic regions.

From the end of February 2013, MTG will distribute Sky Sports News HD in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland through its Viasat pay TV platform, as well as through its channel packages on third party cable TV platforms and IPTV networks, including MTG’s online service Viaplay. MTG will also add Sky Sports News HD to its Baltic platforms later in the year.

Covering a wide range of sports – including the Premier League, Football League, UEFA Champions League, Formula 1TM, golf and rugby union – Sky Sports News HD offers fans a comprehensive and dynamic news service 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year. From its breaking news around football transfers to its critically acclaimed ‘Special Reports’ series, the channel provides news, analysis and insight from across the sporting world.

This agreement builds on Sky’s growing international channels business that already sees Sky News reach millions of viewers across Europe, North America, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. The syndication and distribution of channels internationally is a growing part of Sky’s business as the company seeks to leverage the quality of its brands and content by making programming available to new audiences.

Sky Sports News HD already syndicates selected programming to other international broadcasters such as Fox Soccer in the USA, but this new agreement marks the first time that the entire Sky Sports News HD channel will be available on an international pay TV platform. On top of carrying Sky Sports News HD as a standalone channel on its Viasat platform, MTG will also have the option to insert Sky Sport News HD content, including Formula 1TM pre-race programming, into its own wholly owned sports channels for up to three hours each day.

In addition, the agreement also enables MTG to exclusively broadcast a range of other premium Sky Sports content, including support programming and features such as Soccer AM and The F1 TM Show.

Rob Webster, Commercial Group Director, BSkyB, said: “The demand for high quality sports news has never been greater and we’re delighted to be working with MTG to bring the full Sky Sports News channel to an international audience for the first time. For sports fans, there’s no better place for around-the-clock breaking news, expert commentary and interviews than Sky Sports News. We’re thrilled to be developing the channel’s distribution in Europe and are looking forward to sharing all of the action with MTG’s customers.”

Jørgen Madsen Lindemann, President and CEO of MTG, said: “This is fantastic news for sports fans who already enjoy our world class and market leading offering of local and international sports coverage. Subscribers to our platforms and channels will now have access to even more of the latest breaking news and expert views from the best known sports stars, personalities and commentators. Sports news is a global headline grabbing phenomenon, and Sky Sports is a strong brand that consistently delivers high quality content. It is great that our viewers will now have access in and out of their homes to even more of the very best sports entertainment.”

About Sky

Sky entertains and excites more than 10.4 million homes through the most comprehensive multichannel, multi-platform television service in the UK and Ireland. Sky continues to break new ground with its own portfolio of channels: Sky 1 combines its commitment to UK production with the best of the US; Sky Living pushes ahead with fresh and innovative entertainment formats; Sky Arts is the UK’s only dedicated arts channel brand; Sky Atlantic is the home to HBO and other iconic drama and comedy, Sky Sports is still raising the bar in sports broadcasting; Sky News remains a pioneer in television news; and Sky Movies is leading the way in High Definition and on-demand.

Sky also works with dozens of other broadcasters on the satellite platform, as well as online and on mobile through the ground-breaking Sky Go service. Sky has also led the UK into the age of high definition television, launched Europe’s first 3DTV channel, Sky 3D, and offers customer even more flexibility and choice through Sky Anytime+, its internet-delivered video on demand service. Since launching Sky Broadband and Sky Talk in 2006, the company has also been the UK’s fastest-growing home communications provider.

Sky believes in making a wider contribution to the communities in which it operates, not least by increasing participation in, and access to, the arts, supporting grassroots sports, and taking positive action on the environment.

About Modern Times Group

Modern Times Group (MTG) is an international entertainment broadcasting group with operations that span four continents and include free-TV, pay-TV, radio and content production businesses. MTG’s Viasat Broadcasting operates free-TV and pay-TV channels, which are available on Viasat’s own satellite platforms and third party networks, and also distributes TV content over the internet. MTG is also the largest shareholder in CTC Media, which is Russia’s leading independent television broadcaster.



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