17 September 2004
AMSTERDAM — Media entrepreneur John de Mol has confirmed plans to launch a new television station in the Netherlands in August 2005. The station will focus on football and Dutch-language shows.
De Mol said he will compete for the television rights for Dutch premier league soccer matches. Presently, the public broadcasting network pays EUR 55 million over three years for the football rights. Bidding opens on the contract again next season.
The Dutch entrepreneur — who earned a fortune selling his entertainment company Endemol to the Spanish telecoms firm Telefonica — also intends to launch a head-to-head battle with commercial broadcasters RTL 4 and SBS 6.
De Mol must still apply to a licence from the Broadcasting Commission and talks will then follow with cable companies UPC and Casema to obtain a place in their packages of television channels, newspaper NRC reported on Thursday.
De Mol will make use of the children’s broadcaster Nickelodeon, having signed a contract with its US owner MTV to broadcast from the channel six nights per week. The financial details of the deal are not yet known.
The new channel will be financed by De Mol’s Hilversum-based investment company Talpa, which already owns radio stations Noordzee and Radio 10 Gold.
Talpa invests in companies that are involved in media, entertainment and technology. It has shares in telecoms firm Versatel, children’s broadcaster Jetix (formerly Fox Kids) and car manufacturer Spyker.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news