×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

NBCUniversal to Launch Reality-TV Streaming Service Hayu in Nordics (EXCLUSIVE)

Reality-TV fans in the Nordics will be able to binge on “Real Housewives” and “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” later this year when NBCUniversal launches its Hayu streaming service across the region.

Hendrik McDermott, SVP of branded on-demand for NBCU, told Variety that the service will roll out in Norway first before hitting Finland, Sweden, and Denmark by year’s end. McDermott is expected to announce the news Thursday at the IBC media technology conference in Amsterdam.

Hayu carries programming on the same day as the U.S., which usually makes dubbing and subtitling a logistical as well as costly challenge. But English is widely spoken in the Nordics, so the content does not need to be re-versioned.

“We launched deliberately in the U.K., Ireland, and Australia because of the affinity for reality TV [and because] they are English-speaking markets and have the streaming infrastructure,” McDermott said. “The Nordics tick all the same boxes. They are not native English [speakers], but the level of English spoken is exceptional, especially among the young demographic we are targeting.”

He added: “We’ve always had a wide list of potential expansion territories. We think this brand has global appeal.”

With good high-speed Internet, the Nordics are well-served by streaming services. Amazon, Netflix and HBO all have standalone SVOD operations alongside local and regional offerings such as Viaplay.

“We’re going after a very clear demographic and niche, and we don’t view this as a replacement service for any of your TV services,” McDermott said. “Obviously the likes of Netflix and HBO are industry peers, but I wouldn’t say we are directly competitive with them in the sense we’re not trying to replace them. We’re very affordable and an incremental service.”

In Norway, NBCU has struck a deal with local SVOD platform TV2 Sumo and will be carried on its platform, as well as via the dedicated apps. It will be priced at NOK49 ($6.22) a month in Norway, SEK49 ($6.10) in Sweden, DKK49 ($7.83) in Denmark, and €4.99 ($5.93) in Finland.

Hayu launched in the U.K. last March and is available over the top, via dedicated apps, and through Amazon’s new channels service. It is also available on the Virgin pay-TV platform and will roll out on Sky’s streaming service, Now TV, next year. In Ireland, a new marketing deal with local telco Eircom will see it bundled with phone services. In Australia, NBCU has a deal with Fetch TV, having previously been on Foxtel.

McDermott said that the different versions of Bravo’s reality franchise “Real Housewives” and E!’s “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” are among the most popular programs on the service.

More Digital

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    Farewell to Concubines: China Tightens Restrictions on Short-Form Videos

    Bad news for some of China’s 600 million users of short-form video platforms: No more content depicting foot fetishes, spoofs of the national anthem or sympathy for extramarital affairs, according to new regulations. Worse news for the companies that serve such consumers: They’re now expected to step up their censorship efforts and assume responsibility for [...]

  • How Meta Struggled to Make AR

    The Story Behind Meta, the AR Startup That Just Had Its Assets Sold to a Mystery Buyer

    “It’s a pretty dramatic moment in my life.” To say that Meron Gribetz, co-founder of the augmented-reality headset startup Meta, has had a busy couple of months is an understatement. Meta made headlines in September when it furloughed most of its workforce after an investment round from China failed to go through. Since then, Gribetz [...]

  • Mj Rodriguez, Nico Santos to Announce

    Mj Rodriguez, Nico Santos to Announce GLAAD Media Award Nominations

    Mj Rodriguez and Nico Santos are set to announce the nominees for the 30th annual GLAAD Media Awards. The “Pose” star and “Crazy Rich Asians” funny man will make the announcement during a live-stream from the AT&T Hello Lounge at the Sundance Film Festival on Friday, Jan. 25. “The images and stories recognized by the [...]

  • Netflix Claims 'Fortnite' Is a Bigger

    Netflix Claims 'Fortnite' Is a Bigger Competitor Than HBO

    It may be mostly gamesmanship to downplay looming threats, but Netflix says it’s not really focused on rival streaming-video services from Amazon, Hulu, Disney, WarnerMedia or other big players as much as improving its own service to win share of consumers’ attention. “We compete with (and lose to) ‘Fortnite’ more than HBO,” Netflix told investors [...]

  • Netflix - Apple TV

    Netflix Turns in Record Q4 Subscriber Gain, Price Increase Weighs on U.S. Forecast

    Netflix is beating Wall Street expectations for international subscriber growth — but its recently announced price increase in the U.S. may have put a damper on its momentum in the States. For the fourth quarter of 2018, Netflix reported 1.53 million paid net adds in the U.S. and 7.31 million internationally, to end the year [...]

  • Bird Box

    'Bird Box' Has Been Watched by 80 Million Subscribers, Netflix Says

    Netflix used its Q4 2018 earnings report Thursday to give us a rare update on some of its audience numbers: The company estimates that its horror-thriller “Bird Box” will be viewed by over 80 million member households in the first four weeks following its release. “We are seeing high repeat viewing,” company executives wrote in [...]

  • Crackle Latin America

    Sony Shuts Down Crackle Latin America Business

    Sony Pictures Television is folding the Crackle Latin America subscription VOD service, which has 400,000 subscribers across 17 countries, after concluding the business isn’t economically viable. Crackle Latin America first launched in April 2012 as an ad-supported streaming service — like the U.S. version of Crackle — before switching in 2016 to a subscription video-on-demand [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content