Swedish football moves into Telia mobile phones

Starting in April, Telia’s customers in Sweden can start watching international football games and matches from the premier division of the Swedish football league right on their mobile phones. This new mobile television service is the result of a four-year agreement that Telia has signed to get the exclusive rights to broadcast Swedish football games on mobile phones. The agreement covers both live broadcasts and post-match summaries.

In the first phase, Telia customers will be offered live broadcasts of premier division games as part of the television programming package available through Telia’s SurfPort mobile portal. Viewers can choose if they prefer to watch live broadcasts or receive post-game summaries. The agreement also enables Telia to offer services such as game results and the broadcast of exclusive material during and after football matches.

“Football is without comparison our greatest public sport and many hearts will beat a little extra when the start of the premier division season is approaching, or when the Swedish national team will play qualification matches for the European Championship or World Cup. The new agreement will allow our customers to follow the Swedish team in international competition or monitor the progress of their favourite local team wherever and whenever they want,” says Håkan Dahlström, head of Mobility Services Sweden at TeliaSonera.

The agreement Telia has signed with Kentaro, which owns the media rights to Swedish football until 2010, covers both live broadcasts and summaries of game results after matches. Telia has also entered into close collaboration with the Swedish Football Association (Svenska Fotbollförbundet), the elite associations belonging to the Swedish Elite Football Association (SEF) and the association for elite women’s football (EFD). This co-operation concerns sponsoring and marketing rights in which Telia will be an exclusive sponsor and telecommunications partner.

“Now that Swedish football has taken a major leap into the largest mobile network in Sweden, with 4.6 million users, we believe it will further increase the Swedish people’s interest in football and mobile television broadcasting. According to the 2007 Telia Trend Report, three out of ten people in Sweden would like to watch television on their mobiles already today – a percentage that will mostly likely increase soon among all of the country’s football lovers,” says Håkan Dahlström.

Diehard fans of football will be later offered programming packages for specific clubs with game result reports and live broadcasts of all their team’s games on their mobile phones. Summaries of individual matches or from an entire game series, as well as reports with game highlights, are other services that are being evaluated and might be offered already during the spring season of the premier division in Sweden.