Stuffed buyers may find room for more


AMSTERDAM — It may be sunny on the Croisette, but players from the Netherlands’ cutthroat market will be in the trenches at Mip.

Though RTL Netherlands and SBS Broadcasting, each with three general entertainment channels, have most of their deals tied up, that won’t keep them from getting down and dirty. SBS program head Eric van Stade says “an original and affordable soap” will tempt his buyers.

And even with music web MTV about to launch its Dutch Comedy Central strand, MTV Benelux and Nordic territory managing director Dan Ligtvoet says skeds filled for the next few months won’t stop his team from eyeing a heavy-hitting laffer.

Buyers from the three-channel, ad-dependent state system also should be less tightfisted with a new government that is putting back some of the dosh the previous one took away. Budget cuts nearly cost pubcasters one of three channels, says Roek Lips, managing director of state Channel 3, but a facelift targeting a younger crowd had state channels topping commercial channels in aud shares earlier this year for the first time in ages.

On the down side, Dutch billionaire John de Mol’s TV venture Tien (Ten) has found itself falling well below promises to deliver 10% aud shares to advertisers. Though Tien programming manager Remko van Westerloo notes the channel has made considerable creative contributions to the Dutch programming pool, Tien parent Talpa Media has talked to both SBS and RTL about the future of the station.

Reports that Endemol co-founder de Mol is parlaying Spain’s Telecinco and Italy’s Media-set over a joint buyout of Endemol are expected to come to a head soon.