It's a tempting conclusion to draw after a week that saw Norway's leading media group sell its stake in the country's biggest commercial TV-station, TV2, and one of Scandinavia's most successful internet entrepeneurs launch plans for a new online TV-channel.
Of course it's not that simple, and Schibsted's managing director has berated Norway's strict cross-ownership laws for making it impossible for the company, who is the country's biggest media group, to pursue a majority stake in TV2. Still, the deal signals a clear strategy shift, and even though company spokesmen have denied Schibsted is looking to sell its Swedish TV-assets as well, Kjell Aamodt, Schibsted's CEO, has indicated that the company is more focused on transmitting live pictures via platforms other than TV. "We don't talk about a TV-strategy anymore, we talk about a live pictures strategy. We are in the process of positioning ourselves both within web- and IP- TV," he told E24. Schibsted sold its 33,3 stake in TV2 to the Danish Egmont group and Norwegian newspaper group A-pressen, the latter incidentally owned by the Labour Union and Telenor (whose majority owner is the Norwegian state).
In a separate move, the Danish Skype-founder and millionaire Janus Friis this week unveiled his plans to launch his third major international project: an online TV-channel expected to go live by New Year (link in Danish via Berlingske, requires subscription). If the Skype-success is anything to go by, this will be an interesting one to watch...
Update 30/10: Anders Gerdin, editor-in-chief of Schibsted-owned Aftonbladet, indicates that Schibsted may sell its minority stake in Swedish TV4: 'It's pointless to have a minority post in a TV-channel,' he is quoted saying to DN (no direct link available).
Update 6/11: Schibsted sells its shares in TV4 to Nordic Broadcasting, of which Bonnier and Proventus each own half.