Subdivision into packages of soccer broadcasting rights

20 January 2005

Liselotte van Wijngaarden

Introduction


 

The Dutch Competition Authority (the “NMa”) is of the opinion that the intention of “Eredivisie CV” (“ECV”) to sell the broadcasting rights for first division soccer matches in six packages will promote competition between broadcasting corporations. The NMa will not block the collective selling of the packages via ECV. However, the NMa asserts that every package in itself must be interesting enough for a broadcasting company to make an offer for it. In addition, the NMa will monitor whether the proposed procedure will, in practice, actually lead to more competition. The NMa is not able to properly assess this beforehand on the basis of the information provided by EVC to the NMa.

Exploitation of rights

The NMa is positive about the fact that the number of matches offered is no longer greatly limited and that the broadcasting rights will revert to individual clubs on Sunday night at 23:59 hours, after which clubs will then be able to exploit these rights themselves. Further, the NMa is positive about the possibility to broadcast a live match on the internet on Friday evening and about the subdivision into two packages of rights for the compilations and the rights for subscription television.

Conditions for bidding and awarding of the broadcasting rights

The NMa asserts that the conditions for the bidding and awarding procedure must be transparent and non-discriminatory. Also, the method by which the various offers are assessed must be objective, transparent and verifiable. The NMa concurs with the line of decisions of the European Commission.

NMa’s opinion

 

The NMa has notified its opinion to ECV. The NMa does not consider it expedient to further investigate this case until after the season 2007/2008, unless new facts surface or complaints are submitted to the NMa.

Source: Press Release NMa, 18-11-2004 at www.nmanet.nl