Swedish football rights sold in record deal

Sweden’s football authorities have netted up to 1.4 billion kronor by selling the television rights to games in Sweden to Swiss agent company Kentaro.

The deal is a blow to Swedish TV companies MTG, Canal Plus, TV4 and SVT. They will now have to negotiate with Kentaro to secure rights to show games from the Allsvenskan Swedish football championship, the national team’s home games and the Swedish women’s football championships.

The Swedish Football Association said in a statement that the agreement would bring in between 1.3 and 1.4 billion kronor.

While it is as yet unclear exactly what the deal will mean for football fans, for Swedish teams the money is welcome, said Lars-Åke Lagrell, chairman of the Swedish Football Association, which represents the national team.

“To have an agreement that stretches over five years means we have a good opportunity to continue to develop Swedish football in the best way possible, and the long-term certainty is good for everyone involved.”

The deal with Kentaro was also signed by the Swedish Elite Football Association (SEF), representing Allsvenskan clubs, and the Swedish Women’s Football Associaation.

Svenska Dagbladet writes that the previous TV rights agreement for Swedish football was worth half the amount of the new deal.

“This represents a significant improvement compared to previous deals,” admitted SEF chairman Bo Lundquist.

MTG’s cheif executive Anders Nilsson said his company had offered 80 percent more than under the previous contract, but had still been beaten by Kentaro.

“The sums don’t add up at these levels,” said Nilsson.