Viaplay Group has appointed Edward Breeze as SVP and Head of Sports UK. Breeze has held a range of executive positions in the UK sports industry, and in his new role he will lead Viaplay Group’s sports operations in the country. Viaplay Group has also announced an agreement to acquire UK sports streamer and TV channel operator Premier Sports, ahead of the launch of the Viaplay streaming service in the UK this autumn.
Edward Breeze will join Viaplay Group in October from DAZN, where he is currently EVP Rights. He has previously worked at Perform, Inform and Octagon. Breeze will become a member of Viaplay Group’s sports leadership team, reporting to Peter Nørrelund, Chief Sports Officer at Viaplay Group, and will be based in London.
“I'm thrilled to join Viaplay Group. I’ve been impressed by the way the company is successfully launching in new countries, acquiring high-profile sports rights and constantly developing synergies between markets. I like the big ambitions and am looking forward to the adventures and opportunities that lie ahead,” Edward Breeze commented.
“We’re pleased to welcome Edward to Viaplay’s experienced and talented sports team. His in-depth knowledge of streaming, sports and the local market makes him an ideal fit as we launch in the UK. Live sport is in our DNA and we will offer UK viewers a very attractive line-up – with much more to come,” added Peter Nørrelund, Chief Sports Officer at Viaplay Group.
● VIAPLAY GROUP ACQUIRES PREMIER SPORTS
Viaplay Group has agreed to acquire UK sports streamer and TV channel operator Premier Sports, which marks a significant acceleration of Viaplay Group’s ambitions in the UK. Premier Sports’ portfolio of attractive sports rights complements the rights that Viaplay has previously secured for the UK, and its platforms are available across the UK through long-term distribution agreements with Sky, Virgin, Amazon and Netgem TV. In addition to content and distribution, the acquisition will also deliver synergies with Viaplay in sports production, while boosting Viaplay’s local brand awareness amongst viewers.
Premier Sports’ UK sports rights include La Liga, Scottish Cup, Scottish League Cup and Coppa Italia football; United Rugby Championship, Rugby Football League and Top 14 rugby; NASCAR motorsport; and the Elite Ice Hockey League.
“This acquisition will put Viaplay firmly on the UK map and accelerate our development in this key market. Premier Sports has a loyal and expanding subscriber base, well-established distribution agreements and production capabilities, and a great sports portfolio that complements our own. There is also a big opportunity to make Viaplay’s wider offering, including our award-winning Viaplay Originals, available to Premier Sports’ subscribers. We have secured this growing and profitable business at an attractive valuation. This is a fast and effective route to building an even stronger position for Viaplay in the UK,” said Anders Jensen, President and CEO at Viaplay Group.
Richard Sweeney, CEO of Premier Sports, added: “At Premier Sports, we’re proud to have created a dynamic, innovative sports streamer and broadcaster over the past 13 years. From modest beginnings, and through the hard work and dedication of our people, we have continually grown the company, and today we have an extensive portfolio of must-see live sports that entertain loyal customers across the UK. Our sale to Viaplay Group will dramatically increase the content available to new and existing subscribers. This is the start of an exciting new chapter in the development of the business, and is great news for our colleagues, customers and partners.”