Telenor has entered into an agreement that offers Scandinavian football fans access to all of the 64 matches in next year's football World Cup through pay TV.
Telenor has been a part of a Scandinavian TV consortium negotiating with the German Kirch-Group for the rights to broadcast the World Cup within Scandinavia. The consortium – led by Sveriges Television (SVT) -now consists of SVT, Swedish TV4, Danmarks Radio (DR), Danish TV2 and Telenor. The deal between the Scandinavian consortium and Prisma, a company within the German Kirch-Group, is now finally closed.
As part of the agreement, Telenor has acquired exclusive rights to distribute 60 World Cup matches in Norway, and 21 matches in Sweden and Denmark. Telenor also has exclusive Scandinavian additional rights for interactive-, broadband-, and SMS products relating to World Cup 2002. Telenor will also broadcast all the other matches during World Cup 2002 after a first run on the public broadcast networks.
In Norway, Telenor has acquired all television rights for the Norwegian domestic market. Furthermore, sub-agreements have been entered into between Telenor and the Norwegian broadcasters TV2 and NRK. TV2 and NRK will share the production of a daily one hour World Cup Magazine, and also broadcast live the opening match, the two semi finals and the World Cup Final. This co-operation ensures that all football fans in Norway will have the opportunity to view all of the highlights from next year’s most prestigious sports event.
In Sweden and Denmark, Telenor will broadcast 21 matches exclusive on a pay-TV platform through Canal Digital. The other matches will be broadcasted on Canal Digital, in co-operation with the Scandinavian TV-corporations, which have acquired the remaining exclusive distribution rights.
“Telenor’s ambition is to become a leading content provider in the Nordic countries, which is why we have invested a lot of money and technology in this project. We believe that World Cup 2002 will be an important aggregator for the convergence of content and technological platforms. Our investment has a Nordic perspective. We look forward to offering Telenor’s two million Nordic TV households a score of exciting products in association with the event,” said Stig Eide Sivertsen, CEO of Telenor Plus. Telenor Plus is Telenor’s division for the residential market in the Nordic countries.
The games Telenor distributes from the World Cup will be sent as a Kiosk service, or pay-TV, on Canal Digital. This means that football-loving TV viewers can subscribe to the entire event with a wide range of additional services, under the name of “World Cup Ticket”. The Kiosk services require that viewers have a digital decoder, and are existing customers of Canal Digital, Telenor Avidi or Telenor Vision.
In addition to the TV-distribution of the games, Telenor will offer its customers a range of new and exciting PC and TV based services. It will be possible for subscribers to, for example, get various perspectives on the game through a number of cameras (superfeeds) shooting from different angles, or receive additional information about the game, tables and results. Also available: interactive games quizzes and polls.
The 2002 World Cup starts in Japan and South Korea on May 31 next year, and lasts 30 days. Norway did not qualify for the World Cup, but both Sweden and Denmark did. All in all 64 games will be played before the next World Champions are named.
About Telenor ASA
Telenor is an international provider of high quality telecommunications, data and media communication services, with a particularly strong focus on mobile, IP-based and broadband services. Headquartered in Oslo, Norway, the company is present in 30 countries, with a turn-over of approx. NOK 37.6 billion and a work-force of 20,200 man-years domestically and abroad in 2000. Internationally, Telenor is steadily increasing its investments internationally, constantly providing its worldwide customers with leading-edge solutions at competitive prices. Telenor is listed at the Oslo Stock Exchange (TEL) and Nasdaq in New York (TELN).
About Telenor Plus AS
Telenor Plus is one of four main business areas in the Telenor Group. The business focuses on the private customer and small businesses and will develop and offer communication services for this market covering both fixed telephony, Internet (including ADSL), broadband and TV and content services. Telenor Plus has in excess of 3200 employees and is consists of the four divisions Broadcast, Content & Interactive Services, Telephony and Internet and Customer Care.