Eredivisie Media and Marketing (EMM), the media arm of Dutch football’s top flight, the Eredivisie, has sold a 51% stake in the company to Fox International Channels, a broadcast subsidiary of News Corporation, for a reported Eur1 billion.
EMM owns media rights to the Eredivisie and controls the Eredivisie Live pay-television channel. Fox will pay the Eur1 billion over the 12 years encompassing the 2013-14 to 2024-25 Dutch football seasons, with the payments reportedly rising from Eur60 million in the first year to Eur100 million in the final year. EMM was established in 2008 through a partnership between the Eredivisie clubs and media and production company Endemol. Both parties have approved the deal, but it still needs to be cleared by the Dutch Competition Authority (NMA).
“For the Dutch clubs and fans, it is good news that we can welcome such a strong partner,” said Frank Rutten, director of Eredivisie Media and Marketing. “The fact that Fox International Channels are going to participate in Eredivisie Media and Marketing shows great confidence in the organisation and appreciation for what has been achieved up to now. Together we will build in the years ahead a successful and innovative Eredivisie Live, a solid foundation for the entire football market and an improved experience for the fans.”
Raymond van der Vliet, managing director of Fox International Channels, added: “We are very pleased that together with EMM and the 18 Eredivisie football clubs we can further develop the strongest channel of the Netherlands. That we can add the sports genre to our portfolio of existing brands in the Netherlands is an honour and privilege. We expect that our local and international experience and success with regard to the exploitation of various channels, together with EMM, will be capable of offering Dutch football fans a full and high quality operation.”