Scandi nets TV2, SBS link

AMSTERDAM — Scandinavian Broadcasting System (SBS) and Norwegian commercial market leader TV2 Norway have inked an unprecedented agreement which will leave the two nets in control of most of the commercial programming and TV ad revenue in that territory.

Disney/ABC is the largest shareholder in SBS. The deal signed Monday puts TV2 Norway in the driver’s seat in programming not only for its own station, but also for the 18-channel SBS affiliate network TvNorge.

The two nets will also cooperate as one unit in program buying as well as promotion. Together, the two channels will control 85% of all TV ad revenues in the territory.

“People are beating their brains out in Western Europe trying to make a profit. This is a solution to a very tough competitive situation which benefits both of us,” Harry Evans Sloan, chairman and CEO of SBS, told Daily Variety.

Under terms of the agreement, TV2 will take a 33% stake in TvNorge. SBS will retain its 51% controlling share of the net. It is believed that Schibsted and A-Pressen, the two top publishers in Norway, and Danish media giant Egmont will split the remaining 16% shares of TvNorge.Schibsted, A-Pressen and Egmont together control more than 70% of TV2 Norway. The deal leaves TV3, owned by the Modern Times Group, as the only other general entertainment commercial channel in Norway.

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