Eredivisie and ESPN finalize media deal agreement

The agreement regarding the extension of the Eredivisie rights from 2025 has been finalized today. The existing collaboration with Eredivisie Media & Marketing (EMM) has been extended for five years, ensuring that ESPN will hold on the domestic rights to the league after 2025.

EMM is the joint venture of The Walt Disney Company, Eredivisie CV, and the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB). New to this agreement is the immediate expansion of live coverage for the Keuken Kampioen Divisie (Dutch First Division) and Azerion Women's Eredivisie to nearly the maximum extent. Eredivisie CV, the football organisation representing the 18 Eredivisie clubs, will also take over the Eredivisie sponsorship rights and international media rights from EMM.

Nearly all Dutch football live on ESPN

In October 2023, the 18 Eredivisie clubs unanimously agreed on the outcome of negotiations regarding the media deal. Today, the finalized agreement has been officially signed by all organizations. A new addition is the expansion of live coverage for the Keuken Kampioen Divisie to nearly its maximum extent. Starting from this weekend, as many matches as possible from each round of the second-tier league in the Netherlands will be broadcast live on ESPN. The TOTO KNVB Cup, Johan Cruyff Shield, and Jong Oranje matches will also remain live and exclusively available on ESPN for the coming years

Where possible, everything live

Where possible, all Keuken Kampioen Divisie matches will be broadcast live. For example, this will be the case starting from this weekend. However, it has proven not feasible to consistently schedule matches throughout this season in a way that allows for live broadcasting of all games due to logistical and organizational constraints. It may occur that on a matchday, one or two games cannot be broadcast live due to the need for proper scheduling to make it feasible from a production and organizational standpoint. EMM continues discussions with the clubs, Keuken Kampioen Divisie, and the KNVB to reassess and achieve this goal for the upcoming season.

Azerion Women's Eredivisie

In the Azerion Women's Eredivisie, all necessary conditions have been immediately met. Therefore, from now on, all women's matches will be broadcast live every matchday. Due to the significant expansion of the live coverage, there may not always be an ESPN TV channel available. In such cases, matches from the Keuken Kampioen Divisie and Azerion Women's Eredivisie will be streamed live online on ESPN Watch.

From left to right: Frank Rutten (EMM), Dave Dekker (KNVB), Fresia Cousiño Arias (ESPN), Jan Joost van Gangelen (ESPN), Jan de Jong (Eredivisie CV) and Marco de Ruiter (EMM). Photo ©: Nathan Reinds.

'Comprehensive package'

Jan de Jong, CEO of the Eredivisie CV: "Our collaboration has already been extremely successful and will now continue for at least 5 more years. ESPN is a reliable, credible, and triple-A media partner for us, and more importantly, for the viewers. Moreover, we reach the largest possible audience. More than 90% of the Dutch households can tune in to us. It's a unique setup, a joint venture, unparalleled in Europe. And to top it off, it's with The Walt Disney Company, the largest and perhaps the most innovative media company on the planet. That speaks volumes. In addition, Eredivisie CV gains significant commercial freedoms for the future. The financial guarantees are solid, the compensations are considerably higher than before, and we have many opportunities to further increase the value and consequently the revenues. In short, a comprehensive package to which all 18 Eredivisie clubs unanimously said 'yes'."

Frank Rutten and Marco de Ruiter from Eredivisie Media & Marketing stated: "We are pleased that the clubs have unanimously expressed their trust in the cooperation we have with each other. With ESPN, we continue to be the connecting factor for football enthusiasts in the Netherlands, bringing all Dutch club football live to people's homes in the best possible way with passion. In doing so, we create an even broader and solid financial foundation for football, which is important to ensure the continued growth and development of the leagues in terms of quality. But above all, together with the clubs, we are building a platform where Dutch club football, both for men and women, is widely available and accessible to supporters. That remains our mission."

EMM: Since 2008

Eredivisie Media & Marketing CV was established by the Eredivisie clubs in 2008 to exploit their collective media and sponsorship rights. The company's first major achievement was the launch of the television channel Eredivisie Live, the first owned television channel by clubs in Europe. In 2012, FOX International Channels acquired a majority stake in EMM, and Eredivisie Live was renamed FOX Sports a year later. In 2019, The Walt Disney Company acquired the majority share. Since January 1, 2021, the television channel has been known as ESPN.

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