Discovery Networks Northern Europe has launched Eurosport Denmark, a localised channel created through the merger of Canal 8 Sport and Eurosport 2. The channel launched on 1 July on pay TV operators TDC, YouSee, Boxer, Altibox, Viasat and Telia as part of their premium offerings.
The US cable programmer enlarged its footprint in Denmark with the acquisition of SBS Nordic in April 2013. Then last year, Discovery agreed to acquire Canal 8 Sport and Canal 9 from C More Entertainment, the pay TV channel business owned by Sweden’s Bonnier group. The takeover was cleared by the Danish competition authorities in May. Discovery also took control of Eurosport International from TF1, increasing its stake to 51% last year.
The new channel will broadcast 2,400 hours of live sports content every year, including Danish Superliga football, Germany’s Bundesliga, as well as Grand Slam, ATP and WTA tennis.
According to IHS analysis, MTG is the market leader in the Danish sports TV market, where it operates its Viasat pay TV brand in partnership with local broadcast group TV2. MTG’s portfolio of sports rights include the Superliga (shared with Discovery), the Champions League and Premier League football, NHL ice hockey, and Formula One motor racing. At the end of 2014, Viasat’s group revenues in Denmark were €105 million, compared to €60 million for Discovery, according to IHS TV Channel Intelligence.
As well as the rights to the Olympic Games from 2018 (revelead earlier this week), Discovery holds the rights to the Damnish national team's qualifying matches for Euro 2016 and the World Cup 2018, the Superliga, Spain's La Liga and the Europa League.
Following the recent announcement of Eurosport Norway, it is clear that Discovery is investing heavily in the Nordic region by launching localised feeds in order to boost its advertising revenues. According to IHS Technology, Discovery generated $59.4 million in advertising revenues in Denmark in 2014, making it the third most profitable country in the Nordics. By merging the pan-regional feed of Eurosport 2 with Canal 8 Sports, the US media conglomerate is capitalising on Eurosport’s already established brand name making it the number one encrypted sports channel in the country. As a result, Discovery should be able to strengthen its position in negotiating carriage deals with local pay TV operators by being a premium sports content provider.
According to TV Channel Intelligence, Eurosport Denmark will reach 1.2 million households by the end of 2015.