News Corp makes bold move into Dutch football

The Fox International Channels broadcast subsidiary of media conglomerate News Corporation has acquired a 51-per-cent stake in Eredivisie Media and Marketing (EMM), the media company that owns rights for the Eredivisie, the top flight of Dutch football, and controls the country’s Eredivisie Live pay-television channel.

Under the deal, Fox will reportedly pay €1 billion ($1.22 billion) for the stake over 12 years, from 2013-14 to 2024-25. The Hollywood reporter website said that the payments would rise from €60 million in the first year to €100 million in the final year.

Media and production company Endemol and the Eredivisie clubs collaborated to establish EMM in 2008, and both parties have approved the deal. However, the transaction still needs to be cleared by the country’s competition authority.

“The partnership with EMM and the 18 Eredivisie clubs will push Fox International Channels in Europe to a new level,” Jesus Perezagua, president of Fox International Channels’ Europe and Africa division, said. “It introduces the Dutch Premier League to our brand portfolio in the Netherlands and adds sports to the entertainment genres where we already have strength: scripted, factual and lifestyle. This breadth is what makes Fox International Channels one of the most relevant players in the content distribution industry in Europe.”

Alex Tielbeke, the Eredivisie’s director of media and marketing, added: “Fox International Channels is part of an international network of successful sports channels in the United States, Latin America, Asia, and now Europe. We plan to use that knowledge and expertise as we continue to grow the success of Eredivisie Live.”