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Streaming newcomer Viaplay strike deal to broadcast Northern Ireland, Wales, and Scotland internationals

The platform is launching in the UK later this year, and did not comment on whether they are interested in buying rights to Republic of Ireland matches.

A view of Windsor Park.
A view of Windsor Park.
Image: PA

NORDIC STREAMING COMPANY Viaplay have bagged the UK broadcast rights to international matches involving  Northern Ireland, Wales, and Scotland. 

The deal will see the newcomer streaming service show the three sides’ European qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup and Euro 2028, as well as the side’s Nations League campaigns in 2024/25 and 2026/27, and any international friendlies up to 2028.

The streaming service is launching in the UK in the second half of this year, and a spokesperson told The42 they have no current plans to expand to the Republic of Ireland.

The rights to Ireland’s qualifiers for Euro 2024 and the 2026 World Cup along with Ireland’s 2024/25 and 2026/27 Nations League campaigns have not yet been sold, with that process ongoing. The rights for Ireland’s forthcoming Nations League campaign, beginning in June, are not yet finalised either. 

Ireland’s qualifiers for Euro 2024 and the 2026 World Cup are protected for live free-to-air broadcast, though the Nations League games are not covered by the same law. 

A spokesperson for Viaplay did not comment when asked if they are interested in bidding for games involving the Republic of Ireland. 

Viaplay was first established in Scandinavia in 2007, and it has since expanded to include Poland and the Baltic nations. They stream TV and movies along with live sport, with the Bundesliga and Europa League among their highest-profile rights in those locations. 

The service expanded to the United States last year and is expanding to include the UK and the Netherlands this year. (With regard to the latter, they have struck a partnership with F1 world champion Max Verstappen.)

Today’s deal with Northern Ireland, Wales, and Scotland comes through Uefa’s centralised national association media rights sales process, under which Uefa takes sole responsibility for the marketing and sales of broadcast rights for all 55 European nations’ matches, with each nation guaranteed a set amount as a result.

The streaming service was established in 2007 in Scandinavia and the Baltic nations, and streams TV and movies along with sport, with their highest-profile deals including Bundesliga, the Europa League and the Europa Conference League. 

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It expanded to the US last year and is expanding to include the UK and the Netherlands this year. (With regard to the latter, the service has struck a partnership with F1 world champion Max Verstappen.) 

Anders Jensen, Group President and CEO of the company operating the Viaplay platform, said: “This is Viaplay’s biggest UK sports milestone so far. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have exciting young teams that millions of fans will be able to follow exclusively on our world-class platform. These matches are in good hands. We work closely with Uefa in the Nordic and Baltic regions and know how much national sides mean to supporters.

“Viaplay’s multi-territory partnerships with rights holders will be a key advantage as we challenge further in the UK sports market. The timing is also advantageous with these rights coming on stream in 2024, which allows us time to build our UK brand and to innovate the Viaplay viewing experience even further.”

Additional reporting by Press Association 

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Gavin Cooney

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