Dutch television broadcaster Ziggo Sports will end its association with Formula One after the end of the 2021 campaign. Ziggo will reportedly be replaced by a Stockholm-based streaming service, Nordic Entertainment (NENT).
NENT reportedly outbid the former owners of the F1 rights in the Netherlands, 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 increased 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 its social media platforms, Ziggo confirmed that the sport’s enormous growth in the country led to an increase in bidding for broadcast rights to a measure that was not affordable for the firm. The loss of the rights to F1 is a major blow to the Dutch firm due to the increased popularity of the sport in the country.
As a formal announcement, Ziggo said: “Starting in 2022, Formula One, unfortunately, will move to another channel. We have proudly broadcast Formula One for nine years. In those years, broadcasting rights rates have risen so much that, unfortunately, we were unable to keep Formula One.
Meanwhile, NENT has 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. Enter the country with F1 The rights will be a game changer for the company that already owns broadcast 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. In the meantime, Ziggo will continue to work with Ajax, the largest club in the Netherlands. Earlier in January, Ziggo extended his partnership with Eredivisie champion Ajax until 2025 as the title sponsor of the four-time UCL winner.