Ziggo weighs up next move after Fox Sports court defeat

Dutch pay-television operator Ziggo has said it is considering its options after losing a court case concerning the carriage of channels operated by pay-television broadcaster Fox Sports Netherlands.

An Amsterdam court has ruled that Ziggo must strike new carriage deals with Fox following its merger with fellow pay-television operator UPC in 2015.

While Ziggo has a contract with Fox that runs until 2020, UPC’s agreement is due to expire on July 31. Ziggo had argued that a separate agreement for its customers that were previously with UPC was not necessary as the two operators are now one company.

However, the court has ruled that Ziggo must seek new deals, with Fox Sports’ portfolio including the channel dedicated to the Eredivisie, the top division of domestic football.

“We are studying the court decision,” a Ziggo spokesman told the NOS.nl website. “Moreover, we are already in talks with Fox Sports to reach agreement.”

Fox Sports called the ruling “a victory for all Dutch sports fans”. A Fox Sports spokesman added: “Our door is always open to fix (an agreement) with each other as soon as possible.”

Fox Sports holds broadcast rights for the Eredivisie in a 12-season deal running from 2013-14 to 2024-25. The 2017-18 Eredivisie season kicks off on August 5.