Fox Planning Launch of Dutch Free-TV Channel (Report)

Fox's Dutch Pay-TV channel Eredivisie Live holds rights to Dutch's top soccer league through 2025.
Fox's Dutch Pay-TV channel Eredivisie Live holds rights to Dutch's top soccer league through 2025.
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COLOGNE, Germany - Fox International Channels (FIC) is reportedly set to bow a branded free-to-air TV channel in the Netherlands and is in talks with local cable operators for distribution.

Dutch public broadcaster NOS reported Thursday that the Fox channel would offer films, series and sports coverage, including highlights of the Dutch soccer league.

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Fox already operates a number of pay-TV channels in the Netherlands, including  Fox Life, National Geographic Channel, NatGeo Wild and 24Kitchen.

Last year, FIC acquired a 51 percent stake in premium soccer channel  Eredivisie Live. That deal gave Fox all live and highlight rights to top league Dutch soccer through 2025 for an annual $106 million (€80 million) fee. Leveraging those rights, along with Fox's series and film library, appears to be the program strategy for the new free-TV channel.

Already, Fox appears to be repositioning Eredivisie Live as a broader pro soccer channel by picking up Dutch rights for several European leagues, including Britain's Premier League, Italy's Serie A and Belgium's Jupiler League.

Fox has so far declined comment.

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