Modern Times Group

Modern Times Group
Modern Times Group MTG AB
Type Publicly traded Aktiebolag
Traded as OMXMTG A, MTG B
Industry Media
Founded 1997
Headquarters Stockholm, Sweden
Key people David Chance (Chairman), Hans-Holger Albrecht (President and CEO)
Products Free-to-air and subscription television broadcasting, television production, radio broadcasting, online retail
Revenue SEK 13.10 billion (2010)[1]
Operating income SEK 2.355 billion (2010)[1]
Profit SEK 3.522 billion (2010)[1]
Total assets SEK 14.00 billion (2010)[1]
Total equity SEK 6.239 billion (2010)[1]
Employees 3,070 (average, 2010)[1]

Modern Times Group (MTG) is a Swedish media company. MTG was formed out of the media holdings of investment company Kinnevik, which in 1997 was distributed to the company stockholders. Among the assets were Viasat and Metro International. Viasat is a group of television channels, included TV3 (the first commercial television channel in Sweden that had been started in 1987), ZTV, Viasat Sport and TV1000. The shares of Metro International, which runs a chain of free newspapers, were distributed in a second round among the shareholders of MTG.


Business areas

Viasat Broadcasting

Viasat Broadcasting is the largest business area, representing more than half of the company (77 percent of the revenues in 2005). It includes both free and pay television.

Free television

In Scandinavia and the Baltics, Viasat operates one main channel called "TV3" and a secondary channel in every country. Although MTG list these channels as "free-to-air", most of the Scandinavian channels are encrypted and subject to decoding fees.


Channel type Sweden Norway Denmark Estonia Latvia Lithuania Hungary Slovenia Bulgaria Czech Republic Russia Ghana Ukraine Belarus
General TV3 Sweden TV3 Norway TV3 Denmark TV3 Estonia TV3 Latvia TV3 Lithuania Viasat 3 TV3 Slovenia Nova Television TV Prima (50 percent) CTC Media (CTC, Domashniy, Peretz) (38,9 percent) Viasat 1 - +TV Belviasat
General secondary TV8 - TV3+ Denmark 3+ Estonia 3+ Latvia TV8 - - - - - - -
Entertainment TV6 Sweden (Free) Viasat 4 TV3 Puls TV6 Estonia TV6 Latvia TV6 Lithuania Viasat 6 Hungary - Diema, Diema Family, Kino Nova Prima Cool (50 percent), Prima love, R1 (50 percent) - - - -
Sports and documentaries TV10 - - Viasat Sport Baltic Estonia Viasat Sport Baltic Latvia Viasat Sport Baltic Lithuania - - Nova Sport - Viasat Sport East - Viasat Sport East Viasat Sport East

In Russia:

In Indonesia:

In Macedonia:

  • TV ERA (95 percent)

In Ghana:

  • Viasat 1

Pay television

Nordic countries

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.

The following channels are available in all Scandinavian countries:

These channels are only available in Sweden:

These channels are only available in Norway:

  • SportN (in co-operation with Norsk rikskringkasting) (until 15 September 2009) [3]
  • Viasat Fotball (from 15 September 2009)
  • Viasat Sport Norge

These channels are available in Norway and Sweden:

In Denmark, the sports channels are operated in a joint-venture with TV2/Danmark A/S. The following channels are available in Denmark only:

Baltic countries

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

Eastern Europe

Channels available to third party operators in the rest of Eastern Europe are TV1000 East, TV1000 Balkan, TV1000 Russkoe Kino, TV1000 Poland, TV1000 Action East, Viasat Sport East, Viasat Explorer and Viasat History.

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

MTG Radio

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

Modern Studios

Includes the television production companies Strix Television and Modern TV and the film production company Sonet Film

Modern African Productions

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

Home Shopping

"Home Shopping" includes the shopping website and the television service TV Shop. In May 2007, MTG agreed to sell TV Shop to Guthy-Renker Europe. The completed on June 21, 2007.

Betting Company

Betting company Bet24. Sportsbook, Poker, Casino, Bingo and Games.



  • 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.


  • 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.
  • Ferbruary: Launch of Viast 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%.


  • January: MTG sells its 15,1 percent interest in TV4 AB.
  • March: CTC Media launches the Domashny television network in Russia.
  • October: Launch of Russian language movie channel TV1000 Russian Kino.
  • October: SportN launches in Norway.
  • November: TV1000 Balkan launches.


  • March: MTG became majority shareholder of Bet24, owning 90% of the company.[1]
  • 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.


  • January: Viasat Golf launches in the Nordic countries.
  • March: MTG buys the Balkan Media Group Limited Bulgarian channels: Diema, Diema 2, Diema Family, Diema Extra, MM and M2
  • April: TV6 launches in Latvia.
  • May: M2 in Bulgaria is closed down.
  • September: Viasat 4 launches, replacing ZTV in Norway.


  • January: Viasat launches high-definition television in the Nordic countries.
  • March: TV6 launches in Estonia.
  • April: MTG sells Russian network DTV to CTC Media.
  • April: TV1000 Premium launches in the Baltics.
  • July: MTG buys Nova Television and Nova+ from Antenna Group.
  • September: Tango TV relaunches as TV6 Lithuania.
  • December: Viasat 1 launches in Ghana.
  • December: Nova+ in Bulgaria is closed down.


  • January: Viasat Sport Baltic launches.
  • February: TV1000 Drama launches.
  • March: TV3 Puls launches in Denmark.
  • The Diema Media Group and MM, previously a joint-venture between MTG and Apace Media, are merged whit Nova Television to create the Nova Broadcasting Group.
  • April: Prima Cool launches in the Czech Republic.


  • April: Nova Sport launches in Bulgaria, replacing MM.
  • September: TV10 launches in Sweden.[4]
  • December: Modern African Productions was founded in Ghana.


  • 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.


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Annual Report 2010". Modern Times Group. Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  2. ^ CTC shareholding info
  3. ^ "MTG legger nad kanal". Kampanje. 2009-09-08. Retrieved 2009-09-10. [dead link]
  4. ^ Therese Gustafsson (2010-09-06). "EM-kvalet – direkt i ny kanal". Aftonbladet. 

External links

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