The international pay-TV giant, Canal Plus, is set to make a triumphant return to the Netherlands in early 2024. The service will initially be distributed through its M7 subsidiary. This marks an end to an 18-year absence from the Dutch market for the broadcaster.
M7 and its online service, Canal Digitaal, will undergo rebranding under the Canal Plus banner starting January 29. This move signifies a significant shift in European broadcasting as it expands Canal Plus's footprint across Europe.
Jacques de Puy, Canal Plus International’s chief executive, said:
“I am very pleased with the launch of our platform in the Netherlands, which will help us further strengthen the position of Canal Plus in the European market. It is a dynamic market that offers us new opportunities.”
“With our learnings from other territories and strong relationships with content providers and major stakeholders, we’re confident to bring something new to the Dutch audience, bringing together the best of linear channels, sport, films, and series.”
Canal Plus's return promises exciting developments in sports content distribution. Thanks to a carriage deal with rights holder ESPN, Dutch fans can look forward to Eredivisie matches - their top-tier league. ESPN currently holds these rights until the end of 2024-25 season but is in talks about renewing them through till 2029-30.
The new Canal Plus service comes at an affordable price of €4.99 ($5.41) per month. In addition, customers of Vodafone Ziggo will have access via another carriage deal which further broadens accessibility for sports fans across the country.
Canal Plus has been absent from this market since the UPC cable operator took over its operations back in 2005 (UPC has since been taken over by Ziggo).
Canal Plus are looking to expand its presence across Europe
This strategic move gives Canal Plus a presence in another European market adding on top of its activities already established in France, Poland, Austria where they hold UEFA Champions League media rights.
In addition to this expansion within Europe, it also holds a significant stake outside Europe with a notable presence via SuperSport in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asian streaming service Via.
Despite financial struggles faced by Scandinavian broadcaster Viaplay, Canal Plus maintains a 12% stake in the company.
Canal Plus's global network is impressive. The broadcaster boasts a subscriber base of over 25 million across Europe, Asia and Africa. This return to the Netherlands not only marks an exciting time for Dutch sports fans but also signifies Canal Plus's commitment to expanding its international reach and influence in the world of broadcasting.