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Fox Cable Network to Launch in Netherlands

Fox International Channels says its latest entertainment network will feature such shows as "The Simpsons," "The Walking Dead" and "Da Vinci’s Demons."

LONDON – The international networks arm of Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox said on Friday that it will launch a general entertainment channel using the Fox name in the Netherlands on Aug. 19.

The fully localized 24-hour network will be available to digital TV subscribers of Dutch cable giant Ziggo. The company is also negotiating additional carriage deals with other pay TV operators for Fox.

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It is the latest channel launch from the entertainment company's Fox International Channels arm.

"The Fox launch rounds out Fox International Channels’s portfolio in the market, which currently includes pay networks in the sports, lifestyle and factual segments via 24Kitchen, FOXlife and the suite of National Geographic branded channels, respectively," the company said.
 
Fox International Channels will operate the new Fox network in partnership with Eredivisie Media & Marketing, a Dutch media venture owned by FIC, Endemol, Dutch soccer league Eredivisie and Dutch soccer association KNVB. The partnership is also operating two premium sports channels under a previously announced deal -- Fox Sports Eredivisie and Fox Sports, which will launch next month with English Premier League, Italian and other soccer rights.

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Fox channels are currently available in 207 million homes across 127 countries and 30 languages.

The new Dutch network will focus on audiences in the 12 years and older demographic. It will offer "a slate of premium, first-run programming anchored in four content pillars that span drama, movies, animation and sports," FIC said.
 
A mix of FIC original co-productions and acquisitions leads the drama lineup, including The Walking Dead, Da Vinci’s Demons, The Bridge and Ripper Street. The animation lineup includes Fox favorite The Simpsons.

Daily sports news and a weekly highlights show will round out the schedule.
 
"The launch of FOX is a significant milestone for FIC’s operation in the Netherlands," said Jesus Perezagua, president of FIC, Europe and Africa. "We are delighted to be introducing Fox to the Dutch audience. The brand is not only the cornerstone of our entertainment portfolio globally, but more importantly embodies a 78-year legacy of creative excellence and compelling entertainment, which we’re confident our new Dutch fans will relish."

E-mail: Georg.Szalai@THR.com
Twitter: @georgszalai