Dutch pubcasters fight for soccer

Country's Media Authority asked to step in

AMSTERDAM — Dutch pubcasters are fighting to air local soccer highlights after John de Mol’s Talpa Media Holding outbid them in December, paying E35 million ($45 million).

The pubcasters, who held the rights for 40 years, have asked the Dutch Media Authority to step in.

The pubcasters claim the Media Law requires them to cover major sporting events, and they can’t fulfill that brief without limited access to soccer.

De Mol’s Talpa Media will fight that contention at a Media Authority hearing on Monday.

The rights, among the most coveted in the territory, are a cornerstone of Talpa’s new programming block Tien (Ten), which will launch in August.

A ruling is not expected for several weeks, and while the Media Authority’s decision is usually final, it can occasionally be appealed in a civil court.

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