Swedish based video streaming company Viaplay, a subsidiary of Modern Times Group AB, obtained the rights to stream live sports, giving it an advantage over rival company Netflix. Viaplay sets its self a step above Netflix by airing soccer games, National Hockey League games, the European Golf tournament and even Nascar races to its customers.
Both Viaplay’s numbers of subscribers and their content are growing by leaps and bounds.
Viaplay was launched to the countries of Sweden, Norway, and Denmark in 2007 and Scandinavia in 2008; Netflix was brought to the Nordic area late last year and already boasts 25 million customers in the region. Viaplay was also made available in Russia in March 2012 and Ukraine this past April while Netflix has not yet launched in those countries. Those two countries alone amassed Viaplay 200 million new subscribers. Executives at Viaplay have announced interest in branching out further into Eastern Europe in the Baltic region, Czech Republic and Bulgaria as well.
Despite the fact that Netflix is a globally popular company and that Viaplay’s premium package is three times the cost of Netflix’s services, the Swedish company is finding great success in the Northern European market. Viaplay streams many shows and movies that its parent company Modern Times Group owns and produces which Netflix subscribers would have to pay for elsewhere to view. Viaplay also has deals in the works with companies such as Disney and Sony, which Netflix does not.
The ability to let customers watch live sporting events is what ultimately distinguishes the two companies. Sports such as soccer have vastly influenced Europe’s television programming and Modern Times Group already had a very large customer base when Viaplay was introduced and evolved over the past five years. In fact, it was their expansive customer base that helped MTG to secure the rights to the various sporting events. The company’s increase in stock over the past year attests to the success that their newly acquired programming has gained them.
A global transition to streaming technology.
The presence of the American based company has actually benefited its Swedish counterpart by making Europeans more aware of the ease and portability of using tablets, smart phones and laptops for streaming videos. Netflix has expanded its audiences by offering streaming to a variety of electronic devices and Viaplay has following suit by developing an application for Android devices and allowing Apple users to view content through their device’s browser. The Modern Times Group speculate that very soon a large number of Europeans will move from paying for television programming to paying for streaming services.