Scandinavian merger between MyGame and Sportway to create largest AI video sport service in Europe
Swedish-based Sportway, and Norwegian company, MyGame Group, have agreed to merge in order to ramp up their international expansion plans and unite their extensive rights portfolios.
While MyGame is a consumer brand aimed at the end users, Sportway has focused on B2B alliances with sports federations, setting up joint ventures in order to offer specialised services like Svensk Hockey TV. The merged company will offer both approaches in new markets and focus on securing attractive rights as the main key to expansion.
The new parent company in the merged unit, Sportway Media Group, will control exclusive sports rights in five countries across seven different sports. With artificial intelligence (AI)-cameras installed in more than 500 arenas, and more than 3,000 new installations already in the pipeline, the company is aiming for a dominant role in the AI sports production and streaming business in Europe.
In Norway, MyGame has collected exclusive long-term rights to lower division and grassroots sports, including football, handball, ice hockey, floorball, basketball, and volleyball. Meanwhile, Sportway has secured ice hockey across Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and the Czech Republic, as well as handball, basketball, and floorball in Denmark.
“This is the fastest growing field within the media industry, and building size and momentum is crucial to obtain critical mass, a strong rights portfolio and tech superiority,” said Harald Stromme, chairman and CEO of the merged company. Stromme is one of the founders of MyGame, and former CEO of Discovery Networks Norway and Sweden.
“With operations in Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and the Czech Republic, Sportway Media Group has a stronghold in the Nordics, and is in pole position to expand further,” added Jonas Persson, co-founder and chairman of Sportway and CEO of Commercial Sports Media, who will be in charge of sports rights acquisitions and partnerships across the new group. “In all my years in the interface between sports and media, I’ve never seen an opportunity like this,” said Persson. “For the first time we can offer the 99% of matches that have never before been produced to a dedicated audience of friend.
Sportway Media Group will consist of Sportway, Live Arena Sports, and MyGame Group, as well as 51% ownership in MyGame Norway and joint venture set ups with sports federations in Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Czech Republic. MyGame Norway will have two leading local media corporations, TV 2 and Amedia, owning the remaining 49% of the shares. The three plan to develop a national service comprising a vast offering of sports from elite to grassroot level.
“There is a distinct window of opportunity here, and this merger will make sure that we have the momentum we need to implement great solutions at great speed,” noted Daniel Franck, co-founder and CEO at Sportway, and former CEO at IEC in Sports. He will also be in charge of business development in the merged entity. “I believe the Norwegian media partnership model is an attractive opportunity also in other markets, with the potential to create true win-win alliances.”
“We offer exciting opportunities for rights holders, federations and media companies across Europe,” said Edvard Tveten, co-founder and COO of MyGame. “Both fan and player engagement will get a boost unlike anything we’ve seen before.”
“Over the next few years Sportway Media Group aims to significantly grow our combined rights portfolio across Europe, creating a new and exciting market for local sports,” says Stromme.
Sportway Media Group is currently valued at approximately Euro 60 million, based on the latest financing round.