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Dutch court rules out Fox Sports Eredivisie carriage probe

A Dutch court has ruled that the country’s competition regulator is not required to launch an investigation into the carriage agreement model for Fox Sports’ Eredivisie premium channels.

The ruling came in response to proceedings brought by telcos KPN and Caiway after the Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM) decided over two years ago not to pursue a market abuse case against Eredivisie Media & Marketing, which owns the channels.

Fox Sports Eredivisie shows exclusive live coverage of the Dutch top-tier football league.

Eredivisie Media & Marketing’s carriage model, which was introduced ahead of the 2016-17 season, requires platforms to make payments based on its total number of subscribers, regardless of whether the subscriber watches Fox Sports Eredivisie.

KPN and Caiway had objected to this arrangement, which the industry has dubbed the ‘Eredivisie tax’.

The new distribution agreement applies to all platforms, although does not currently affect telcos Ziggo and Tele2.

Ziggo still carries Fox Sports Eredivisie under the old model in an agreement that is due to expire at the end of the current 2019-20 season. The telco would need to sign up to the new model to allow it to continue broadcasting the channel.

Tele2 does not carry Fox Sports after deciding three years ago not to accept the new carriage model.

Fox Sports holds broadcast rights for the Eredivisie in a 12-season deal running from 2013-14 to 2024-25.