Viacom to Launch Paramount+ SVOD Service in Scandinavia

xXx: Return of Xander Cage_Still - Publicity - H 2017
George Kraychyk/Paramount Pictures

The service, available via select pay TV providers, will offer the first pay TV window for new Paramount movies, classic films and popular shows from MTV and Comedy Central.

Viacom's Viacom International Media Networks unit said Friday that it would in October launch a subscription video-on-demand streaming service in Scandinavia.

Dubbed Paramount+, it will offer the first pay TV window for Paramount Pictures’ new movie releases, classic films and more than 800 episodes of popular programs from Viacom-owned networks MTV and Comedy Central.

The service marks the first time Viacom aggregates first-window film and TV content for an SVOD service it packages. The move comes as, under the leadership of CEO Bob Bakish, Viacom has been focusing on aligning its film and networks businesses.

The use of the Paramount name for the service is a sign of the company's trust in the strength of that brand as Viacom is only a corporate, rather than a consumer, brand. The company is also rebranding Spike in the U.S. as the Paramount Network. The Scandinavia launch could well be a test run for a broader rollout of Paramount+ in other countries. 

As of Oct. 1, Paramount+ will be available to premium subscribers of key pay TV providers in Denmark (YouSee, Telenor/Canal Digital), Sweden (Com Hem, Telenor/Canal Digital) and Norway (Get, Telenor/Canal Digital). The company said the new streaming service would have its own branded environment in each pay TV operator’s user interface.

"Subscribers to Paramount+ will secure a first pay TV window for new Paramount movie releases, including Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, Allied, Fences, Monster Trucks, Rings, Brother Nature, Goat and xXx: Return of Xander Cage," the company said. Baywatch, Ghost in the Shell, Transformers: The Last Knight and Mother! will be among the films being added in the coming months.

In addition, it will offer hit films from Paramount’s library, such as The Godfather franchise, Shutter Island, True Grit, Star Trek: Into Darkness and The Ring, and on-demand access to episodes of such popular MTV and Comedy Central shows as Inside Amy Schumer, Geordie Shore, Broad City, Teen Mom and South Park.

"Paramount+ is a groundbreaking concept for us and an important extension of our pay TV offer to our linear distribution partners," said Andrea Sahlgren, senior vp, general manager for VIMN Nordics. "It’s the first time we’re aggregating first run movie rights with our TV content under the Paramount brand for SVOD access, available for our pay TV operators only. It’s the perfect complement to our existing linear TV and VOD offerings and will meet unrivaled demand from viewers in all the Nordic countries to be able to watch their favorite TV shows and movies when, where and on whatever device they want."