UPDATED. Fox in The Netherlands is looking to force Dutch platforms to include its Fox Sports 1 channel in their basic packages, at a cost of €2 per subscriber.
Fox Sports 1 is the main premium channel featuring live football matches from the Dutch Eredivisie.
However, KPN has started a lawsuit against Fox, claiming that including the premium sports channel in its basic tier is against the interest of its subscribers, as it would have to increase the monthly fee for all subs. The existing carriage contract between Fox and KPN is expiring on August 1. Fox Sports contracts with Delta kabelcomfort, Caiway, Tele2 and Vodafone are also expiring.
“Fox is making new demands which we do not consider to be in the interest of our viewers,” Eelco Blok, KPN chief executive told broadcaster NOS. KPN also claims it is treated unfairly, as the current contract between Fox and KPN’s main competitor Ziggo, is still, running – so Ziggo would not be forced to bring Fox Sports 1 in its basic tier.
A court ruling in this case is expected this Friday. Frank Rutten, EVP Sports Europe & Africa at Fox Networks Group, spoke to Broadband TV News in answer to KPN’s case.
However, Vodafone has announced it signed a new deal with Fox and will now put Fox Sports 1 into its basic starter package. As a result, the monthly subscription fee will be increased with €1.50.
Fox currently offers a premium package, called Fox Sports Compleet, of six channels for €25 per month. It wants to add Fox Sports 1 to the basic package and lower the price of the remaining channels to €15.
Meanwhile, the Dutch competition authority Autoriteit Consument & Markt (ACM) has said that it will investigate the conditions that Fox poses to the various platforms – ACM has ruled that the broadcaster has to apply the same rules and does not discriminate when signing carriage deals for the live matches of the Dutch Eredivisie. The authority questions whether this is the case.