Public broadcaster Nos has not bid for the rights to show Champions League football in the Netherlands, but commercial channels RTL and SBS have done so, the Volkskrant said on Friday.
Nos said last year it would not bid for the rights to broadcast the 2015-2018 events, citing a lack of cash. However, Nos director Jan de Jong said on Monday the decision had been a choice.
‘The cuts which the government is making has forced Nos to adopt priorities and make choices,’ he said, adding that the public broadcaster will continue to focus on sports which other commercial channels ignore.
‘Deciding not to bid for the biggest and most important club competition in the world is a direct consequence of that policy,’ he said.
Fox, which has a public channel and a subscription only channel in the Netherlands declined to say if it had bid for the broadcasting rights.
Meanwhile, culture minister Sander Dekker says he is to meet Nos officials to discuss the secrecy surrounding the broadcaster’s bid to broadcast domestic football.
In March, Nos retained the rights to broadcast highlights from Eredivisie football matches until the end of the 2016/17 season. The deal, which covers television, radio and internet, was agreed between Nos and the Eredivisie on Wednesday.
In 2012, Fox International, the broadcasting group owned by media magnate Rupert Murdoch, took over Eredivisie Media & Marketing, the broadcast arm of Dutch premier league football.
Under Dutch media law, the football highlights must be broadcast on a channel accessible to 75% of the viewing public, without extra costs.
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