Fox International Channels finalised a deal for Dutch sports firm Eredivisie Media & Marketing last December, acquiring a 51% stake in EMM, which manages the rights for Holland’s top football league and runs the Eredivisie Live channels.
That three channel bouquet will be rebranded Fox Sports Eredivisie with the new service going live on August 1. It will show games from the Dutch league starting with live coverage of Ajax versus Roda JC Kerkrade on August 2.
The core Fox Sports channel will also roll out in the Netherlands on August 17. It has secured local rights to the English Premier League and FA Cup competitions as well as to games from Italy’s Serie A and the Europa League.
Fox Sports Eredivisie and Fox Sports will be managed by EMM. FIC is the majority owner of the joint venture with the 18 Eredivisie teams and Endemol also partners.
Fox has been aggressively rolling out its Fox Sports channel and the general entertainment Fox service.
The charge is being led by FIC CEO and president Hernan Lopez who has pledged that the channels division will deliver US$1 billion in operating profit by mid-2015.
Speaking to TBI late last year he said: “For the first 19 years of FIC we were focused on entertainment and then on factual and then on lifestyle – last year was transformative in that it was the year that we became a significant player in sports.”
He added: “It’s expensive and really hard to get sports rights and you seldom get to own them, but we have tried to do longer deals and to become partners with the rights owners. One example is Dutch football.”
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