Modern Times pumps up sports arm

World Brief

Scandinavia-based Modern Times Group’s broadcast arm Viasat Broadcasting plans to launch two sports channels Feb. 1, and rebrand its Viasat Sport Channel to create Viasat Sport 1, 2 and 3.

The move is part of a plan “to build a broader offering for existing sports rights and acquire additional sports rights,” an MTG spokesman told Variety.

Viasat has the rights to soccer’s UEFA Champions League, the NFL, the World Cup in ice hockey and handball, the Wimbledon and U.S. Open grand slam tennis championships among others in its portfolio. In golf, it also has the World Golf Championship, Ryder Cup, British Open, U.S. Open and the European and American PGA tours.

Viasat’s biggest market is Sweden, where there are one million golfers.

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