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ESPN outbid by Dutch networks for Eredivisie media rights

The US-based sports giant may lose rights to Vodafone, T-Mobile and others

According to reports, Disney-owned sports media juggernaut ESPN has been outbid by as much as €500m in its attempt to renew its domestic media rights deal with the Dutch Eredivisie.

ESPN has held the rights to broadcast Eredivisie matches in the Netherlands since 2013, when it successfully beat out the €1bn bid of its American rival Fox Sports to become the new home of Dutch football.

However, in an update to a story already covered here on Sporticos, it is understood that a group of Dutch television companies - T-Mobile, Delta, VodafoneZiggo and KPN - is now in the driver's seat to win the domestic rights to the Eredivisie for the next ten years.

This consortium is believed to have offered a €200m per season deal to run across the next ten years, making this a potential €2bn deal for the highest level of football in the Netherlands.

ESPN, on the other hand, allegedly offered €1.5bn themselves for the same period of time, meaning the offer from the group of TV companies is 25% more lucrative to the league.

The two bids will now be assessed by executives at the Eredivisie, but it's hard to see them opting for the lower offer.

What's more, the consortium has also vowed to make their coverage of the Dutch top flight more accessible and affordable to people across the Netherlands, which is surely something the Eredivisie bosses will take into account.

However this shakes out, the league is looking at earning at least €500m more for this next rights cycle than they did the last, illustrating the continued growth in the cost of acquiring football media rights across the world.

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