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New interim chief for SBS6 to replace Oosterman

Patrick Van Mierlo

Patrick Van Mierlo

Patrick van Mierlo has taken over as interim programme director at Dutch broadcaster SBS6, following the resignation of René Oosterman.

Local reports say SBS6 has struggled in the ratings department despite acquiring valued Champions League football rights, with company part-owner John de Mol concerned by developments.

Van Mierlo, a seasoned Dutch executive who has worked under de Mol at Endemol, was quietly placed in charge recently, according to Quotenet.nl, which described the situation as “House of Cards at SBS”.

Oosterman announced his exit in December following a “turbulent” period for the network, with former Zodiak Nederland chief Peter Lubbers, who is SBS Television’s director, taking over in the interim.

The SBS TV business in the Netherlands  comprises the main channel, Net 5, Veronica and movie network SBS9.

De Mol’s Talpa and Finnish media group Sanoma have owned SBS Netherlands since 2012, when they acquired it from ProSiebenSat.1.

There were rumours Discovery Communications would move to buy the company last year, and reports this week suggest Sanoma is becoming concerned with the levels of investment apparently required to get ratings moving.

SBS6 had not responded to requests for comment at press time.