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Canal+ Acquires 12% of Viaplay Amid Market Shifts.

Roger Hampel

Canal+ Acquires 12% of Viaplay
Canal+ Acquires 12% of Viaplay

Amidst restructuring and market exits, the Nordic streaming platform, Viaplay, has found a notable investor in Canal+. The French media heavyweight has acquired a 12% share in Viaplay, just as the latter signals a shift in its operational strategy.

Viaplay has been in the spotlight recently for its decision to pull out from key markets including the UK, US, and the Baltics. This move to retreat comes within a year of their UK launch and is in line with their renewed focus on core regions: the Nordics and the Netherlands.

Behind the curtain, Viaplay has faced hurdles with increased subscriber attrition and dipping ad revenues. The costs associated with its aggressive expansion strategy also surged, pushing the company into a strategic pivot. This led to a change at the helm, with Jorgen Madsen Lindemann replacing Anders Jensen as the chief executive. The company has also adopted a fresh operating model, emphasizing country management teams overseeing daily operations and strategy.

Financially, Viaplay has forecasted operating losses for 2023 to hover between SEK850 million (US$81.7 million) and SEK1.05 billion (US$100.9 million). Their Q2 reports showed a drop in operating income by SEK6.5 billion (US$625 million) and an alarming decline of one million subscribers.

Canal+ Acquires 12% of Viaplay

Canal+'s move to invest in Viaplay is strategic. Rumors had hinted at Viaplay's intentions for a partial sell-off, and Canal+ stepped in, strengthening the pre-existing ties between the two. Viaplay's content is already prominent on Canal+ in regions like Austria and Poland. Canal+ has been vocal about its ambition to stand tall against global streaming giants, and this stake in Viaplay might be its ticket to that journey.

Moreover, Canal+ seems to be on an acquisition spree. Their stake in Viaplay complements their minority interest in the Asian OTT service, Viu. Additionally, Canal+ is on track to acquire OCS, another streaming contender in which they currently have a 33% share. This buying behavior reinforces Canal+'s intent to dominate the streaming space, further highlighted by their exclusive rights to broadcast Premier League soccer in the Czech Republic and Slovakia until 2025.

Canal+ Acquires 12% of Viaplay


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