Fox Int’l Channels moves into sports with EMM approval

Fox International Channels has had its acquisition of Dutch sports firm EMM approved by local regulators, marking its first major step towards launching sport channels in Europe.

The News Corp-owned international broadcaster acquired a 51% stake in EMM, which manages the rights for Holland’s top football league and runs the Eredivisie Live channel, in August but the deal has just been approved by the Dutch Competition Authority.

EMM, which was established by the 18 clubs of Eredivisie, the Dutch Premier League, Endemol and Dutch national football association KNVB and is responsible for exploiting the collective media and sponsorship rights on behalf of Eredivisie.

The move will add a sports channel to FIC’s portfolio for the first time, sitting alongside its bouquet of entertainment networks and factual channels.

Hernan Lopez, president and CEO of Fox International Channels, said: “We are looking forward to working with Eredivisie, KNVB and Endemol and leveraging the respective strengths of our partners to further develop the interests of the Dutch Premier Football League.”

Frank Carrere, senior vice president and head of corporate development for Fox International Channels added: “With our investments in Latin America, Asia, Africa and now Europe, FIC has secured a leadership position in key TV markets with substantial growth potential while furthering NEWSCORP’s commitment to delivering an unsurpassed sports viewing experience to consumers across the globe.”