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Netherlands: NMa approves co-op for sports broadcasting, concerns remain

 |  January 7, 2013

The Dutch competition authority NMa has announced its decision to approve for US media company Fox International Channels, Eredivisie Beheer B.V. (EBV), and Eredivisie Media & Marketing C.V. (EMM)to combine. The NMa simultaneously released a report assessing how the deal will affect the exploitation of the broadcasting rights of Dutch’s highest football league. Currently, EMM exploits those rights; while it maintains a yearlong contract with public television channel NOS to broadcast the highlights of the league, that contract expires July 1, 2014. After its expiration, EMM will reportedly consider exploiting broadcasting rights for the highlights on its own with a new channel named “Fox NL,” a result of the agreement between the three parties. While the three parties maintained that Fox NL would be available to all distribution platforms – companies that offer television distribution through their individual platforms, like cable – the three report that they reserve the right to potentially combine Fox NL with other content from Fox – a proposal that the NMa says could violate competition law.


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