The Nordic group has seen a rise in streaming activity last week, but predicts a severe fall in revenue for 2020 due notably to a forced cut in Viaplay sports package and a predicted fall in advertising.
Addressing the impact of coronavirus on its business, NENT Group said its offer of original productions, international film, TV series, premium content for kids would remain unchanged in the current climate of uncertainty, but its sports content and broadcasting activities had to be readjusted due to the cancellation or postponement of major sports events, such as the Premier League, UEFA Champions League, and the Formula 1 Australia Grand Prix.
One of the measures taken by NENT Group on March 13 was the temporary price cut of its sports package available to 1.568 million Viaplay customers across the Nordics, which is now equal to its monthly TV and movie package, offered at SEK 109 in Sweden, DKK 99 in Denmark, NOK 119 in Norway and € 9,99 in Finland.
The group has also increased its volume of content (besides sports) and viewing levels have seen an upsurge.
Total streaming minutes on Viaplay (excluding sports coverage) were up 44% last week compared to the same period in 2019, and up 13% compared to the previous week.
Last weekend, started streams and streamed minutes (excluding sports coverage) were up 25% on Saturday and 21% on Sunday.
Meanwhile TVOD consumption was up by an impressive 64% on Saturday and Sunday, with kids movies enjoying the biggest surge. The sports package subscribers watched 34% more minutes and started 25% more streams of non-sports content this weekend.
However the Nordic group stressed the “adverse impact’ that coronavirus is having on its overall performance, “which will put at risk NENT group’s previously stated ambition to deliver profitable growth for the full year 2020.”
Among the areas that will affect the group’s 2020 balance sheet is advertising, which accounted for 26% of the group’s sales in 2019.
Anders Jensen, NENT Group President and CEO said: “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 well-being of our employees, and continuing to deliver the best possible value to our customers,” he continued.
“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,” he said.