A new streaming service is coming to the UK this November – Viaplay, offering a combination of live sports from Premier Sports, along with original films and TV shows.
The Viaplay streaming service will include two packages in the UK: The Films & Series package which will focus on Viaplay Originals and curated third-party content, and the Total package which also includes the combined UK sports line-up of Viaplay and UK sports streamer and TV channel operator Premier Sports.
Viaplay acquired Premier Sports earlier this year, in what was a major shakeup of the TV sports landscape in the UK.
Premier Sports – and now, Viaplay – holds the rights to some of the major sporting events in the world, such as all European Qualifiers for the UEFA EURO, LaLiga, FIFA World Cup matches, over 1,000 UEFA international matches, and more.
The service will launch in the UK on November 1, 2022, and will cost £3.99/month for the Films and Series package, and £14.99/month for the Total package.
When it launches, the existing Premier Sports channels will change their names and branding, as will the free version of Premier Sports – the Freesports channel/app, which will turn into Viaplay Xtra.
Viaplay’s announcement comes in a year that’s been full of big TV sports shakeups, including the merger of BT Sport and Eurosport/Discovery, Champions League games moving to Amazon’s Prime Video, and some LaLiga matches becoming free-to-watch on ITV.
Premier Sports Becoming Viaplay Sports
Premier Sports is a set of pay-TV sports channels, that are currently available on Sky and its streaming service NOW (though not on Sky Glass), Virgin Media, and on the standalone website via the Premier Sports Player.
Premier Sports had a total of 222,000 paying UK subscribers to its pay-TV channels Premier Sports 1 and Premier Sports 2 and streaming service Premier Player, as of June 2022.
When Viaplay launches in November, Premier Sports 1 and Premier Sports 2 will be rebranded as Viaplay Sports 1 and Viaplay Sports 2, with the free-to-air TV channel FreeSports becoming Viaplay Xtra.
All channels will remain available through the existing distribution partners, and will continue to broadcast live sports to pubs, clubs and other commercial premises throughout the UK.
In addition, Viaplay will be available directly as a subscription app on Google’s Chromecast, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Google TV and more.
UK sports fans will be able to follow a broad range of live events on Viaplay, including all European Qualifiers for the UEFA EURO and FIFA World Cup played by the Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland men’s national football teams, along with the UEFA Nations League and friendlies, until 2028.
Viaplay holds a comprehensive portfolio of rights to over 1,000 UEFA international matches from across Europe, including top-ranked teams such as Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain.
Viaplay will also show LaLiga, Scottish Cup, Scottish League Cup and Coppa Italia football; BKT United Rugby Championship, Rugby Football League and TOP 14 rugby; NHL, IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, Champions Hockey League and Elite Ice Hockey League; CEV volleyball; KSW mixed martial arts; EHF handball; ISU figure skating and speed skating; World Athletics Continental Tour Gold and Indoor Tour; and much more.
In addition to sports, the new Viaplay streaming service will include “best of Nordic storytelling” with Nordic noir films and TV shows.
The content offering on all Premier Sports channels will be expanded to include Viaplay’s series and film line-up – which means that, somewhat peculiarly, the Viaplay sports channels on Sky and the other platforms will also air selected original dramas and films alongside sports.
Further details of the series and films available on Viaplay in the UK will be announced soon.
Anders Jensen, Viaplay Group President and CEO, said: “Viaplay will offer UK viewers a compelling combination of live sports, world-class drama and superior value for money.
“We are launching in this dynamic and exciting market with high ambitions and a long-term perspective, and acquiring Premier Sports will significantly accelerate our entry.
“Viaplay has so much to offer, and local sports fans as well as devotees of premium Nordic and international storytelling can now try our unique service for themselves, starting 1 November”.