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Modern Times Group

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Title: Modern Times Group  
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Subject: Viasat Film, Television in Bulgaria, Viasat Explore, Television in Lithuania, Viasat Golf
Collection: Media Companies of Sweden, Modern Times Group, Television in Denmark
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Modern Times Group

Modern Times Group MTG AB
Publicly traded Aktiebolag
Traded as OMX: MTG A, MTG B
Industry Media
Founded 1987
Headquarters Stockholm, Sweden
Key people
David Chance (CEO), Mathias Hermansson (CFO)
Products Free-to-air and subscription television video on-demand broadcasting, television production, radio broadcasting, online retail
Parent Kinnevik AB

Modern Times Group (MTG) is a Swedish digital entertainment company. MTG was formed out of the media holdings of investment company Kinnevik, which in 1997 was distributed to the company stockholders. MTG operates free-TV channels in 10 countries, and also offers subscription entertainment services. MTG also offers a range of online catch-up, "Play" services.


  • Company structure 1
    • MTGx 1.1
      • Advertising funded television (Free-TV) 1.1.1
      • Pay television 1.1.2
        • Worldwide
        • Subscription TV services (Pay-TV)
        • Baltic countries
        • Eastern Europe
    • MTG Radio 1.2
    • Nice Entertainment Group 1.3
    • Modern African Productions 1.4
  • Timeline 2
  • References 3

Company structure


MTGx is the digital accelerator of Modern Times Group.

MTGx is built on three pillars - Viaplay, Play and Ventures. Viaplay offers a broad variety of series, movies, sports and kids content.

Since July 2015, MTG's digital presence was expanded through a number of acquisitions. MTG bought 74% of the shares in Turtle Entertainment, the company that runs Multi-channel network, going from 49% to 81% of the shares in the company. MTG then acquired 51% of the shares in Zoomin.TV, Europe's largest MCN and the 5th largest network on YouTube.

Advertising funded television (Free-TV)

MTG operates advertising funded channels in Scandinavia, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, the Baltic countries, Ghana and Tanzania. Typically, the portfolio structure for these channels is one primary channel (TV3, Prima, Nova), and then secondary channels (TV6, TV3+, Prima Love, etc...) These channels generate primarily advertising revenues, and are classified as free-TV, but a majority of the Scandinavian free-TV channels are encrypted and subject to decoding fees.

Channel type Sweden Norway Denmark Estonia Latvia Lithuania Bulgaria (95%) Czech Republic (50%) Ghana & Tanzania
General TV3 Sweden TV3 Norway TV3 Denmark TV3 Estonia (Free) TV3 Latvia TV3 Lithuania (free) Nova television (Free) TV Prima (Free) Viasat 1
General secondary TV6 Sweden (Free) Viasat 4 TV3+ Denmark TV6 Estonia LNT TV6 Lithuania (Free) Diema Prima COOL (Free)
Supplementary TV8
TV6 Norway TV3 Puls 3+ Estonia TV5 Latvia
TV6 Latvia
3+ Latvia
Kanāls 2
TV8 Lithuania (Free) Diema Family
Kino Nova
Nova Sport
Diema Sport
Diema Sport 2
Prima love (Free)
Prima ZOOM (Free)

Pay television


The "TRACE" platform is also available in the Worldwide with the following channels:[1]

Subscription TV services (Pay-TV)

MTG operates the Viasat satellite platform in the Nordic countries offering both in-house and third party channels. The sports channels available in the different Scandinavian countries differ somewhat depending on different rights held for different markets and different business agreements. MTG also operates the Viaplay online pay-TV service in the Nordic countries, and runs the esports site Viagame. MTG is also present in the MCN space through its part ownership of Splay, the largest Swedish MCN ('Multi Channel Network') on YouTube.

The following channels are available in all Scandinavian countries:

These channels are only available in Sweden:

These channels are only available in Norway:

These channels are available in Denmark:

These channels are available in Finland:

Baltic countries

The Viasat platform is also available in the Baltic countries with the following channels:

Eastern Europe

The Viasat platform is also available in the Eastern Europe countries and Turkey with the following channels:

These channels are available in Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Belarus, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan:

In April 2008, MTG participated in the launch of Viasat Ukraine, a satellite distributor in Ukraine.

MTG Radio

Viasat owns several radio networks and stations in Scandinavia, Baltic countries and Bulgaria:

  • Rix FM, national network in Sweden (DAB+ and FM)
  • Bandit Rock, national network in Sweden (DAB+ and FM)
  • Lugna favoriter, national network in Sweden (DAB+ and FM)
  • P4 Radio Hele Norge, national network in Norway (DAB+ and FM)
  • P5 Hits, national network in Norway (DAB+ and FM)
  • P6 Rock, national network in Norway (DAB+)
  • P7 Klem, national network in Norway (DAB+ and FM)
  • P8 Pop, national network in Norway (DAB+)
  • P9 Retro, station in Oslo, Ostfold, Trondheim and Bergen (DAB+)
  • NRJ Norway, national network in Norway (DAB+ and FM)
  • Star FM, national network in Estonia
  • Power Hit Radio, station in Tallinn, Parnu and Tartu
  • Radio Volna, station in Tallinn
  • Star FM, national network in Latvia
  • Power Hit Radio, station in Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipeda and Utena
  • Radio Nova News, station in Sofia
  • Trace FM, station in Guadeloupe (FM), Guyane (FM), Martinique (FM) and Paris (DAB+)

Nice Entertainment Group

″nice entertainment group″ comprises well known and powerful brands such as Strix Television, Paprika Latino, Novemberfilm, Redaktörerna, DRG, Monster, One Big Happy Family, Playroom, Rakett, Titan, Baluba, Nice Drama, Moskito, Production House, Grillifilms and Gong. This makes 16 strong brands and 28 local companies, in 16 countries distributing content to broadcasters in 240 territories around the world. Furthermore, MTG’s Modern African Productions business creates and distributes content to broadcasters in Tanzania and Ghana.[2]

Modern African Productions

This includes the Ghana-based Television and Mobile content Production Company M.A.P.



  • TV3 launches in Sweden on New Year’s Eve becoming the first commercial channel in Scandinavia.


  • TV3 starts broadcasting to Norway and Denmark. The number of viewers increase from 1.2 million at launch to 3.4 million at end of 1988.
  • Strix launches independent TV production.


  • August: Pay TV channel TV1000 launches.
  • TV Shop starts selling products and services on TV3.


  • TV3 achieves 45% penetration in Sweden and commands 90% of TV advertising market.
  • Acquisition of majority shareholding in Svensk Text (SDI Media).
  • September: TV3 Denmark launches, replacing the Pan-Scandinavian version.


  • TV3 reports annual profit.
  • TV3 Norway launches, each Scandinavian country now has its own version of TV3.
  • TV4 granted license as Sweden’s third terrestrial TV station. Kinnevik acquires 30% shareholding in TV4.
  • Launch of Viasat DTH satellite pay-TV platform.
  • TV1000 merges with competitor SF Succé.


  • ZTV's first year as independent channel.
  • Kinnevik’s media companies report annual profit.


  • September: P4 Radio Hele Norge a national commercial radio network in Norway is launched. MTG is one of its founders.
  • First commercial radio licenses obtained in Sweden. TV3 commences Teletext broadcasting.
  • Terrestrial TV channels launched in Estonia and Lithuania.


  • TV4 becomes largest channel in Sweden.
  • TV6 launched.


  • MTG incorporated as Kinnevik subsidiary.
  • Metro launched in Stockholm.
  • Minority holding acquired in Finanstidningen daily business newspaper.


  • Satellite TV distribution platform switched from Astra to NSAB.
  • January: Radio Rix radio network formed through a merger between MTG's P6 and SRU.
  • April: ZTV and TV6 merged to form 3+ in Denmark.


  • Launch of Viasat+, an analogue low-pay satellite package broadcast from the NSAB satellite consisting of MTG's own television channels as well as Nickelodeon, VH1 and Sci-Fi Channel.
  • Shares in MTG distributed to Kinnevik shareholders and listed on Stockholm Börsinformation and Nasdaq National Market in New York. Second Metro edition published in Prague.
  • Strix becomes first company in the world to produce the Survivor reality TV format.


  • February: Metro launches in Gothenburg.
  • March: TV6 in Sweden relaunches as a Pan-Nordic pay channel called "TV6 Nature World" and "TV6 Action World".
  • ZTV moves from Stockholm to London and expands its schedule considerably.
  • MTG acquires the Latvian television channel Channel 31, which is later transformed into TV3 Latvia.
  • Viasat’s satellite TV subscribers exceed 1 million.
  • Commercial radio operations launched in Estonia and Latvia.
  • September: Metro launches in Budapest.


  • Metro launched in Malmö, Helsinki and the Netherlands.
  • Monthly magazine Kapital launched in Sweden.
  • Internet portal introduced.
  • Swedish business channel TV8 acquired.
  • MTG’s shares quoted on Stockholmsbörsen O-list.
  • February: Launch of CDON.COM.
  • March: Launch of sports channel Viasat Sport.
  • June: Darial-TV started broadcasting as DTV-Viasat.


  • March: Launch of television channel Viasat Plus in Norway.
  • Annual General Meeting approves distribution of Metro International S.A. share capital to MTG shareholders.
  • Hans-Holger Albrecht appointed President and CEO of MTG.
  • MTG buys the Hungarian television channel Alfa TV which becomes Viasat3.
  • PIN24 launches on Sky TV’s platform in UK.
  • MTG buys the rest of TV1000 from its parent company.
  • Viasat launched its digital satellite platform.


  • May: Viasat becomes first European satellite TV broadcaster to switch off analog transmission of premium pay-TV channels following successful transition to digital TV.
  • TV3 awarded national terrestrial broadcasting license in Latvia.
  • Digital home-shopping channel PIN24 launched in Denmark.
  • MTG acquires 75% of Russian national commercial TV channel.
  • Options to Strix reality TV formats sold in over 30 countries to date.
  • Viasat launches four new digital pay-TV channels in Nordic region.
  • EUR 120 million convertible subordinated bonds issued to fund further expansion.
  • Number of Viasat digital DTH subscribers increases to over 550,000 by year-end.


  • January: Viasat Sport Denmark and Viasat Explorer launches.
  • January: Acquisition of 37 percent of StoryFirst Communications, Inc., owner of the Russian CTC network.
  • January: Acquisition of Swedish radio stations Lugna Favoriter and WOW 105.5 from RTL Group.
  • New TV3 schedule recovers share of viewing in Scandinavia.
  • Doubling of Eastern European TV revenues.
  • Launch of PIN24 in Germany, Austria and Switzerland
  • Launch of Tango TV in Lithuania.
  • Increase in number of digital DTH subscribers to 617,000 and more than doubling of pay-TV operating income.
  • TV1000 and Baltic operations both report first annual profits, and TV-Shop turned around. SEK 423 million increase in operating free cash flow.


  • TV3 Scandinavia recovers share of viewing and advertisement sales.
  • Eastern European operations profitable on a combined basis.
  • Pay-TV record operating income SEK 505 million.
  • Viasat signs agreement with NDS VideoGuard to eliminate piracy.
  • Launch of pay TV channels TV 1000 East and Viasat Explorer in Eastern and Central Europe.


  • MTG reports highest ever operating result.
  • February: Launch of Viasat Sport 2 and Viasat Sport 3
  • May: Viasat History launches in Eastern Europe.
  • September: Launch of TV1000 Action, TV1000 Classic, TV1000 Family and TV1000 Nordic.
  • Viasat successfully completes implementation of new conditional access system.
  • Highest net subscriber intake since digitalisation of platform in 2000.
  • Viasat’s four channels reach 6.4 million homes in Central and Eastern Europe.
  • MTG acquires remaining minority interests in DTV and increases its shareholding in CTC Media and Radio Hele Norge following sale of SDI Media for US$60 million.
  • MTG acquires 19.9% of betting company BET24.
  • MTG also signs agreement with NRJ Group to assume management of 20 radio stations in Sweden (and 5 in Norway), thereby increasing penetration for MTG’s national network to 83%.



  • March: MTG became majority shareholder of Bet24, owning 90% of the company.[5]
  • May: TV6 launches in Sweden.
  • September: MTG increases its holding P4 Radio Hele Norge to 90.8 percent, becoming the sole owner in December.
  • November: Viasat Sport East launches.






  • March: Prima love launches in the Czech Republic.
  • August: M.A.P. launches her first production in Ghana.
  • September: Kino Nova launches in Bulgaria, replacing Diema 2.
  • October: TV8 opened in Lithuania. CTC-Media launched Peretz based on DTV.
  • November: CTC opened in Baltic.



  • January: Radio station NRJ Sweden sold to SBS Sweden (ProSiebenSat.1). In Denmark running TV3 Sport 1.
  • February: Prima ZOOM opened in Czech Republic. Running TV3 Sport 2 in Denmark.
  • March: Running HD-version TV3 Denmark.
  • November: TV6 opened in Norway.
  • June: Nova Premier League HD in Bulgaria is closed down.
  • July: Nova Sport HD launches in Bulgaria.


  • February: MTG acquires 75% Trace Partners SAS (brand 'TRACE')
  • December: Russian satellite TV-platform 'Raduga TV' close down.[4]


  • February: MTG sold Hungarian Free-TV channels (Viasat3, Viasat6 and Hungarian video-portal Viasat Play) to Sony Pictures Television Networks.[5]
  • February: Diema Sport launches in Bulgaria.
  • June: MTG acquires 74% of the German gaming company Turtle Entertainment.[6]
  • August: Diema Sport 2 launches in Bulgaria.


  1. ^
  2. ^ [6]
  3. ^ Therese Gustafsson (2010-09-06). "EM-kvalet – direkt i ny kanal". Aftonbladet. 
  4. ^ [7]
  5. ^ [8]
  6. ^
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