July 26, 2013 07.16 Europe/London By Robert Briel
FoxZiggo has become the first Dutch operator to sign a carriage contract with the new FOX channel, which launches on August 19.
Negotiations are under way with all platforms, including UPC, KPN and others. The new channel will feature sports, movies and TV series.
The new FOX will be managed by Eredivisie Media & Marketing (EMM), an FIC majority-owned joint venture between FIC, the 18 Eredivisie teams, KNVB and Endemol.
A mix of FIC original co-productions and acquisitions leads the drama line-up including The Walking Dead, David S. Goyer’s Da Vinci’s Demons, The Bridge, Low Winter Sun and Ripper Street.
The animation line-up sees FOX brand staple, The Simpsons, move to FOX to anchor the daily animation block. FOX in the Netherlands will complement the new channel with daily broadcasts of sports news and live magazines shows, including a weekly Monday night highlights show helmed by veteran hosts Toine van Peperstraten and Jan van Halst.
“The launch of FOX is a significant milestone for FIC’s operation in the Netherlands,” said Jesus Perezagua, president of FIC, Europe and Africa.
“FIC has a 15 year heritage in the market, established first by our National Geographic channels business, and grown recently through significant local investments in partnerships resulting in brands as FOX Sports Eredivisie and 24Kitchen. We are delighted to be introducing FOX to the Dutch audience. The brand is not only the cornerstone of our entertainment portfolio globally, but more importantly embodies a 78-year legacy of creative excellence and compelling entertainment, which we’re confident our new Dutch fans will relish. I am grateful to all our partners at EMM, and all the hard work that has gone into getting us here. We look forward to our shared success.”
August will also see the rebranding of the Dutch Eredivsie Live premium sports channels into FOX Sports Eredivisie and FOX Sports International.
The new SPORTS multiplex will launch on Thursday, August 1 and features Barclays Premier League, Serie A, FA Cup, League Cup, Coppa Italia, DFB Pokal and UEFA Europa League (excluding Dutch clubs).
According to reports in local Dutch press, FOX has yet to sign the first distribution agreement for the premium sports channels. At the moment, all distribution platforms carry the Eredivsie Live channels.