The most important players in the Dutch market are the public broadcasters, with the national channels Ned 1, Ned 2, Ned 3, and all the digital channels grouped together under the Ned 24 banner, as well as the RTL group, whose channels RTL 4, RTL 5, RTL 7, RTL 8 and RTL Lounge are transmitted under Luxembourg law. The third provider, SBS Broadcasting (NET 5, SBS 6 and Veronica), was sold by ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG in May 2011 to Joop de Mol’s Talpa Media group, which is associated with the Finnish group Sanoma.
In 2011, the daily audience market share of Ned 1 fell by 2.4% to 19.1%. Following the public channel in audience share terms are the private channels RTL4 and SBS6 with 15.5 and 9.1% respectively. The two other public channels (Ned 2 and Ned 3) each have a daily share of slightly under 7%, while the figure for the private channels Veronica and NET 5 is around 3.5%. (Audience data source: Eurodata TV Worldwide / Stichting Kijkonderzoek).
The Dutch audience market shares seem less concentrated than in other European countries, which can be partly explained by the cable network penetration. In 2010, more than 75% of households had access via cable to a multichannel platform, and the Netherlands was the second largest European cable television market after Germany. This market is dominated by four companies. The leaders are Zesko (with its Ziggo package), with 3.02 million subscribers in December 2011, and UPC Nederland (Liberty Global), with 1.82 million. Following these are CAIW and Delta.
Digital television reached 72.9% of Dutch homes at the end of 2011. CAIW switched off its analogue cable transmissions in October 2010, the first cable operator to do so. The digitisation of the cable networks is a challenge for the traditional cable operators in the Netherlands, who are threatened by the new forms of competition on the multichannel television market. Although the cable subscription rate is still high, it has been decreasing for several years.
2010 was marked by the launch of fibre optic cable television (fibre to the home – FTTH). Glashart Media (Reggefiber) offers several analogue and digital packages that include a number of HD channels. KPN announced in November 2011 that it was increasing its stake in Reggefiber from 41% to 60%, thus gaining control of the company and the FTTH network. At the same time, the CanalDigitaal satellite package, which gives access to more than 200 channels and is operated from Luxembourg by the M7 group, continues to provide an alternative to cable TV. The platform had an estimated 800 000 subscribers in 2011. Television via ADSL (IPTV) has so far only attracted a minority of households but is already offered by at least four Internet access providers: KPN, Lijbrandt Telecom, Online Breedband and Tele2.
Finally, digital terrestrial television has been successful in the Netherlands, which is all the more unexpected as the penetration rate of terrestrial transmissions was low in the country when the terrestrial analogue switch-off took place in 2006. The DTT network is operated by KPN which had 827 000 subscribers in December 2011. Its Digitenne package is now distributed by at least five companies in addition to KPN: EDPnet, Scarlet, Tele2 and Technos and Onlin.nl, owned by the Deutsche Telekom group.
The Dutch public service broadcasting system is made up of some twenty national and 350 local broadcasters. On 16 December 2010 the General Court of the European Union handed down a decision in an action for annulment brought by the Netherlands and the Dutch Broadcasting Foundation - NOS, a public service broadcaster, regarding state aid for the latter. It concluded in Decision 2008/136/EC that several ad hoc payments made by the Netherlands to the NOS constituted State aid. The Commission found that ad hoc State aid granted to the NOS in its capacity as the PO for its public service mission in the Netherlands public service broadcasting system was incompatible with the common market and had to be recovered from the NOS by the Netherlands. The amount decided upon for recovery was EUR 76.327 million, plus interest. With the aim to liberalise the market for television and radio programme guides the Dutch government adopted on 10 April 2012 an amendment to Article 2139 of the Dutch Media Act 2008. The amendment makes programme data available by abolishing the monopoly held by public broadcasting organisations. The data needed from broadcasting organisations to establish a programme guide must now be publicly offered at a set market price. The new Article will enter into force on 1 January 2013.
This description was last updated in October 2012. The rest of the data in MAVISE is continuously updated.