to updateThe Swedish streaming service Viaplay is urgently looking for lenders and is not even ruling out a takeover. The company, which is in dire straits, will continue to broadcast Formula 1 in the Netherlands for the time being. What happens if the buyer introduces himself is unknown.
Viaplay announced its reorganization plans Thursday morning while filing its second-quarter numbers. The company, which employs 1,500 people worldwide, is laying off a quarter of its staff and leaving the Baltic countries, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada and Poland. For now, the company will remain in Scandinavia and the Netherlands.
Despite all the interventions, the streaming service urgently needs to meet with lenders to stay afloat and taking over the entire company is a serious option. “All options are open,” said Jørgen Madsen Lindemann, CEO of Viaplay. Last year, Viaplay made a profit of 60 million euros in the first half of the year. Now, in the first half of 2023, it has incurred a loss of more than 560 million euros.
The press meeting made it clear just how serious the problems with the streaming service are. Expected worldwide subscription growth failed to materialize. Advertising revenue in Scandinavia is also disappointing. The first disturbing reports came out at the beginning of this month. This website reports that ViaPlay has canceled four Dutch drama series, including a prestigious project by best-selling author Saskia Noort. There have also been layoffs at the entertainment branch of Viaplay Netherlands. The office in Amsterdam is now closed. Only Hilversum’s sports department remains, in slim form. This is where we broadcast about Formula 1 with presenter Amber Brantsen, among others. It is not known exactly how many layoffs have occurred in the Netherlands.
One of the reorganization plans – apart from the departure of Viaplay in many countries – is the sale of sublicences. To reduce high costs, some sports rights can be shared with other channels. “Viplay can bring darts back to RTL and English football, to the Premier League, to Ziggo Sport. They will be more careful when sharing Formula 1 images. If they put it in a linear channel, they will also lose many subscribers, who need it badly,” he replies to That’s sports marketer Chris Werts.
Viaplay Formula 1 has been broadcasting in the Netherlands since 2022. Via parent company Nent, it has acquired the rights from Ziggo Sport. This contract expires at the end of next year. VodafoneZiggo will infringe the rights to return Formula 1 to Ziggo Sport. Viaplay has increased subscribers’ costs many times over. It started in 2022 with ten, but now a subscription costs 16 euros. Viaplay has 6.6 million subscribers worldwide. Despite all the grim numbers, the company is still hoping for growth this year.
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