MTG gets kicks from U.K. soccer

Package includes coverage of games, highlights, news

AMSTERDAM — Scandinavian media outfit Modern Times Group has added to its growing portfolio of sports rights: Broadcast arm Viasat Broadcasting has acquired club TV rights to Blighty’s Manchester United and Chelsea soccer matches.

“This package gives us a look inside two of the biggest and most popular soccer clubs in the world,” said MTG prexy-chief exec Hans-Holger Albrecht.

Package includes coverage of live games, highlights, news, interviews, reserve team matches and off-season tournaments. Some matches, including Premier League games, will be broadcast on a delayed basis.

Three-year package covers broadcast in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and the Baltic States on Viasat Sport 2 beginning July 1.

MTG is building a soccer portfolio with which to compete with commercial and pubcaster rivals across northern European territories. That portfolio includes coverage of Europe’s UEFA Champions League; the U.K.’s FA Cup; English national team home games; the annual Community Shield match between the winners of the Premier league and the FA Cup; and the English First Division and League Cup.