Dutch soccer highlights roll to NOS


AMSTERDAM -- RTL Netherlands has lost the battle for Dutch soccer rights to public broadcaster NOS.

After weeks of negotiations, the Dutch soccer league the ECV (Eredivisie CV), awarded the right to broadcast soccer highlights to NOS for the next five years. The deal carries a total price tag of 105 million euros ($161 million).

The NOS traditionally broadcast the highlights of the Dutch soccer league, but lost the franchise in 2004 when John de Mol closed a deal for his commercial TV station Talpa. Last yea,r De Mol sold the rights to RTL Netherlands, much to the chagrin of local soccer fans who protested against the commercial breaks during the broadcast.

Next season, the ECV plans to open a new pay TV channel for live broadcasts of the major Dutch soccer league. According to some insiders, the ECV will collaborate on this deal with Endemol.