Dutch TV broadcaster Ziggo Sport will end its partnership with Formula One after the completion of the 2021 campaign. Ziggo will be reportedly replaced by a Stockholm-based streaming service Nordic Entertainment (NENT).
According to reports, the longtime owners of F1 rights in the Netherlands were outbid by NENT, although there has been no official confirmation from the Nordic-based company. It is said that due to the rise of Dutch driver Max Verstappen, the brand value of Formula One in the country has escalated significantly. The Stockholm-based company will reportedly pay between €25 million (US$30.5 million) and €30 million (US$36.6 million) per year to F1.
On their social media platforms, Ziggo confirmed that enormous growth of the sport in the country led to increase in the bids for broadcast rights to an extent that wasn’t affordable for the firm. Losing F1 rights is a big blow for the Dutch firm due to the increase in popularity of the sport in the country.
As a formal announcement, Ziggo said: “From 2022, Formula One will, unfortunately, move to another channel. We have proudly broadcasted Formula One for nine years. In those years, the rates for broadcasting rights have grown so much that it was unfortunately not possible for us to keep Formula One.
Meanwhile, NENT is yet to establish itself in the Netherlands, which has been expanding its reach by recently launching its Viaplay service in the Baltic Region and Poland. Entering the country with F1 rights will be a game-changer for the company which already holds broadcasting rights in several European countries including Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, and Norway. It is reported that they will also be securing rights in Finland and Poland by 2022. Meanwhile, Ziggo will continue to work with Ajax, the biggest club in Holland. Ziggo previously in January extended its partnership with Eredivisie champions Ajax to 2025 as the four-time UCL winner’s primary sponsor.