news 3 weeks ago

Scandinavia’s NENT Group Pulls Plug on Non-Scripted, Sets Sights on Drama and Film

Variety — Elsa Keslassy

Nordic Entertainment Group (NENT Group), one of Scandinavia’s largest media groups, is set to pull out of non-scripted content, and focus on scripted drama and film production and distribution. The company is looking to bring a minority equity partner on board to bolster its scripted drama production business.

As part of the reorg, NENT Group will divest its businesses in non-scripted production, branded entertainment and events. The sales process for the non-scripted production and events businesses will be conducted during the first half of 2020.

The company has been ramping up investment in scripted drama for several years and grew closer to its subsidiary Viaplay, a leading streaming service in the Nordics.

Viaplay premiered 21 high-quality original productions in 2019, and expects to premiere more than 30 original productions in 2020. The streamer has the ambition to premiere a minimum of 40 original productions per year going forward. Some of Viaplay’s most successful drama series include “Swedish Dicks” (pictured).

“This reorganisation reflects how important it is for us to focus even further on the opportunity we have with scripted original content, its relevance for our Viaplay streaming service and the expansion ambitions that we have for the coming years,” said Anders Jensen, NENT Group’s president and CEO.

“We therefore have a clear ambition to grow the number of NENT Studios-produced Viaplay Originals. We have also proven that these and many other shows are attractive to international media partners, who have picked up the rights for key territories around the world.”

Jensen said NENT Studios has already had talks with several potential investors interested in backing the company’s push into scripted.

NENT Group regroups several production companies specialized in scripted content, notably Brain Academy Nordics, Nice Drama, EPIQ and Monster Scripted, as well as Paprika. In the U.K., NENT Studios forged a partnership with FilmNation Entertainment.

The banner is also established in the U.S. through the L.A.-based studio Picturestart. NENT Studios’ scripted production and distribution operations make up approximately 45% of its total sales and are a significant profit driver.

Sign up for Variety’s Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.