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Spoiled for choice: how to pick the right television provider


The Netherlands has a bewildering number of television and internet providers, so how do you make sure you pick the right one?

The Dutch media landscape has exploded in recent years. Well over 100 different television stations can now be picked up in the Netherlands, and more are on the way. Here are some things to think about to make sure the television provider you go for has the best deal for you.

First of all, you need to check if the provider supplies the content that you want to see. Are you a sports fan, for example, or do you prefer to binge watch the latest series or see exclusive films? You should also consider if the provider offers an app or other services so you can watch your favourite programmes anytime and anywhere.

Cable or internet

Decide if you want a cable or internet connection. Cable, as provided by Ziggo, is good for price sensitive customers who are looking for a simple and basic tv and broadband deals. All you need do is plug in the cable to your tv and you are good to go.

Ziggo’s interactive television service, however, offers a lot more options – including up to 125 channels, 4K image quality and extras such as pause, record and replay features.

Don’t turn your back on the Dutch broadcasters either. They offer a lot of foreign language programming, and it is usually subtitled not dubbed.  And watching television is a great way to brush up on your language skills as well, particularly for kids.

Domestic companies

The Netherlands has eight main public television companies which share three channels – NPO1, 2 and 3 – between them.  Commercial stations RTL and SBS operate eight different channels. Add to that the large international broadcasters which are entering the mix and it is no wonder that consumers are having to shop around to find the content they want to watch.

‘We see changes in the media landscape and we are watching in a different way,’ says Raymond van der Vliet, Ziggo’s director of content and planning. ‘This has caused us to review our role as Ziggo. We provide access to anything a customer wants, so it is also our job to come up with a convenient overview.’

To do this, Ziggo has adopted the role of aggregator, collecting all the content on offer and offering it though a single platform. ‘A person watching a high quality detective series from HBO might also be interested in a similar series on NPO Start,’ says Van der Vliet. ‘This is something we want to offer too, suggesting possibly relevant content to the consumer, even if it is from a different provider.’


This is particularly relevant, for example, for sports fans. Ziggo offers a huge range of professional football, including Premier League, La Liga, Ligue 1, the Champions League and World Cup qualifiers.  Add to that top tennis, including all the ATP 1000 Masters tournaments, golf, field hockey, Six Nations Rugby, cycling, winter sports… the list is endless.

Once you’ve decided what your priorities are in terms of viewing, if you are looking for the simple life, it is also worth going for a television provider which offers reliable internet as well. Ziggo, has joined forces with Vodafone to offer its GigaNet service, which has great network capacity – perfect for either working from home or for joining in those family Zoom reunions which have become such a major part of our lives during the pandemic.

Best deals

Combined television and internet packages are often the best deal and easier to set up so if you are not great with the technology side of things, go for an all-in-one offer. Ziggo is currently offering a welcome package of just under €40 a month in a highly competitive market.

And if Dutch is not your strong point either, do check the provider you have chosen can help with the installation process if you get into trouble. Ziggo, for example, offers English language information, a handy translation guide and telephone help if you would rather speak to a human being.

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