Swedish streaming service Viaplay says it has adopted a new business model focused on its Nordic operations, and will change key parts of its executive management team and structure to accommodate the new plan.
The move could see Viaplay wind down some of its business outside of Europe, as it concentrates growth in the Nordic countries and surrounding territories.
As part of the change, Viaplay has appointed Jørgen Madsen Lindemann to the role of president and group CEO of the company, effective this month. He will also serve as the interim CEO of Viaplay’s Swedish and Finnish-based operations, the company said.
Other executive changes were announced as follows:
- Lars Bo Jeppesen will serve as executive vice president and CEO of Danish and Icelanic operations;
- Kenneth Andresen will serve as interim CEO of Norwegian operations;
- Peter Nørrelund will oversee business in the Netherlands, Poland, the Baltic region and the United Kingdom, while continuing his duties as chief of sport and business development.
Chief Financial Officer Enrique Patrickson, General Counsel My Perrone, Chief Technology and Product Officer Philip Wågnert, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer Matthew Hooper, Content and Distribution Officer Vanda Rapti and Content Acqusition lead Christian Albeck will all report to Lindemann.
The new executive team and operating model will take effect on Saturday, July 1, the company said.
“This is the first of what will be a number of step changes to ensure that we are investing in the areas where we see the greatest potential, that we are laser focused on the daily business of creating locally relevant products and experiences, and that we are as close as possible to our customers,” Lindemann said in a statement. “We are reviewing the competitiveness of all of our operations, and will make the necessary changes in order to drive higher performance levels and improve the returns on our content and technology investments.”
That review could see Viaplay eventually wind down operations in some non-European territories, including the United States and Canada, where localized versions of its streaming service launched earlier this year.
Viaplay has been long considered the “Netflix of the Nords,” with a deep library of Nordic-based television shows and movies that have generated significant interest in Europe. Unlike Netflix, Viaplay has aggressively pursued — and clinched — lucrative sports rights in some of the European territories where it operates, including local rights to Champions League, Premier League and National Hockey League (NHL) events.
In 2022, Viaplay diversified itself outside the streaming world for the first time, acquiring the British-based network Premiere Sports, which was rebranded under the Viaplay name shortly afterward. The channel offers La Liga, NHL, Elite Ice Hockey and NASCAR events to cable and satellite customers in the United Kingdom and Ireland.