Bringing payTV channels to the Netherlands
International broadcast group Discovery is moving the operational headquarters for its payTV channels in Europe to Amsterdam. The company, which includes TLC and Eurosport, has also applied for approximately 50 EU licenses for its paid channel portfolio. Discovery’s move will create new roles in Amsterdam, while other jobs are likely to move from London, where the company currently employs more than 1,000 staff. Discovery, which already has an office in Amsterdam Noord, has been in the Netherlands since 1989 and offers 10 channels in the country.
Discovery’s decision to grow its Dutch presence will ensure continuity of services across Europe, the company said. JB Perrette, President & CEO of Discovery, added: “The Dutch Government and regulatory authorities have been a great partner throughout our discussions with them relating to our EU payTV portfolio. They have demonstrated a huge commitment to understanding our business needs, minimising disruption and creating the right conditions for a vibrant creative industries hub serving the needs of Europe. I want to thank them for their collaborative approach and extensive support throughout this process."
Decision influenced by Brexit
Discovery’s decision was influenced by the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union. To offer services throughout the EU, broadcasting companies must secure a license and follow regulatory standards in one of its member states, as required by the Audiovisual Media Services Directive. However, Brexit will mean that broadcasters in the UK who only hold a license there are unable to meet this requirement.
Amsterdam's growing media and broadcasting industry
The news is another boon for Amsterdam’s media and broadcasting industry. It comes after other broadcasters announced that they were also relocating their British offices to Amsterdam, including NBC Universal and Turner. In September 2018, British tech startup DAZN, a sports streaming service, also announced the opening of a new office in Amsterdam. The BBC is reportedly also speaking with Dutch authorities about licenses that will allow it to continue broadcasting in Europe.