Rupert Murdoch's FOX acquires majority stake in Dutch soccer broadcaster

Rupert Murdoch's FOX International Channels (FIC) has acquired a majority stake in a Dutch cable television soccer broadcaster, in a reportedly €1 billion ($1.24 billion) deal.

FIC, the international media business of Murdoch, has bought a 51 per cent stake in Eredivisie Media & Marketing (EMM), the owner of the Netherlands top football division Eredivisie, from Dutch TV production company Endemol.

Although FIC did not disclose the financial terms of the deal, several Dutch media reports suggested that FIC paid around €1 billion.

The move comes two months after British Sky Broadcasting, where Murdoch's News Corp owns 39.1 per cent, agreed to buy the exclusive rights for most of the English Premier League matches from 2013 to 2016 for $3.57 billion.

The 12-year FIC-EMM deal has been agreed to by the 18 Eredivisie clubs, KNVB (Dutch National Soccer Association) and Endemol, EMM said in a statement yesterday.

Since its founding in 2008 by media company EMM and the 18 Dutch league clubs, EMM has operated Eredivisie Live, and now Fox will beam the Dutch league for 12 years starting in 2013-14.