Territory report: Netherlands

New channel ups ante in dutch TV

AMSTERDAM — The sale of News Corp.’s Fox 8 to SBS Broadcasting essentially changed the dynamics of the Dutch TV market, creating for the first time distinct camps of channels — six commercial and three state-controlled.

All, however, are competing heavily with one another for scarce ad coin.

The commercial camps are repped by SBS and Holland Media Group (HMG). Fox 8, renamed V8, relaunched as a youth-oriented channel with a male skew, and joined SBS’ two other broad entertainment channels, Net 5 and SBS6.

Those three channels compete with HMG’s three, RTL 4, RTL 5 and Veronica, whose targets range from yuppie/Gen-X to family to entertainment/movie profiles.

All of these channels come up against a reformed and heavily competitive group of pubcaster channels that has managed to maintain a close to 40% aud share and hold its own on the advertising front, despite stricter regulations.

“We have had to acquire an understanding of what branding and profiling means,” says Karel van Doodewaerd, chairman of TROS, explaining the more aggressive commercial stance of the public broadcasters.

TROS is in fact the most commercial of the state broadcasters that present program blocks on the three state channels.

The new dynamics, notes HMG chairman Dick van der Graaf, “have given us a market in which we are going to have to work much harder to capture viewer loyalty.”

TV homes:6.9 million

Cable homes:6.6 million

Satellite homes:242,000

Local programming:50%

Top show:KRO’s missing persons skein “Spoorloos”

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