Television in the Netherlands

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Television in the Netherlands was introduced in 1951. In the Netherlands, the television market is divided between a number of commercial networks, such as RTL Nederland, and a system of public broadcasters sharing three channels, NPO 1, NPO 2, and NPO 3. Imported programmes (except those for children), as well as news interviews with responses in a foreign language, are almost always shown in their original language, with subtitles.[1]


In the Netherlands, television can be watched analog or digital (the latter with the option of HDTV or 3D). Over 2013, 78.3% of Dutch viewers received television digitally.[2] Watching analogue television can only be done via most cable operators and some fiber to the home providers, since the Dutch government ended reception via airwaves in 2006. Watching digital television is possible through a variety of ways, the most common being:

Which television channels can be received is heavily dependent on the operator and in most cases also the channel package that is paid for. However, there is a small selection of channels that every operator must carry. Since 2014, these are the following channels:[3]

Public channels

The Netherlands has three nationwide channels for publicly funded television (NPO). These channels can only make a fixed maximum amount of money from commercials. These commercials never interrupt broadcasts, and are only shown in between shows. The broadcasting organisations that use these channels are basically representative of the Dutch society. Every broadcasting company has members and the number of members gives them a status that is connected to the number of hours of broadcasting. If you are planning to 'go public' on Dutch television you need to have 50.000 members and something new to add to the existing broadcasting conglomerate. Granting or refusal of entry is decided politically on the guidance of public opinion.

In 2005 there was a sharp political debate over government plans to cut funding to public broadcasters and to abolish statutory broadcaster NPS.


The three national television channels are:


The five digital television channels that are provided by the Nederlandse Publieke Omroep organisation, are:


There is also an international public channel:

  • BVN, shared with Belgium's publicly funded Flemish television channel VRT. It shows the best of Dutch and Flemish public television, specifically for Dutch and Flemish viewers abroad.


Most regions and provinces have their own television channel as well. These also receive government funding:

Commercial channels

RTL Nederland

Talpa Network

Viacom International Media Networks Europe

Sony Pictures Television


AMC Networks International

NBCUniversal International Networks

Fox Networks Group Benelux

Discovery Networks Benelux

Disney–ABC Television Group

BBC Studios

Turner Broadcasting System Europe

Stingray Digital


RadioCorp BV


The following (international) commercial channels broadcast localized versions of their programs:

Foreign domestic channels

While there are many localised versions of international channels meant for the Dutch market, many television providers also broadcast 'domestic television' networks as part of the basic subscription package. Other 'domestic' channels may be received as part of extended packages. Many basic subscriptions include:


United Kingdom






In the Netherlands customers can receive high-definition television channels by cable or satellite. There is no terrestrial HD service available nor planned. The first trials with high-definition television in the Netherlands began in 2006 with the broadcast of the 2006 World Cup in HD. After the trial the larger cable companies continued a HD service with a small number of channels as National Geographic Channel HD, Discovery HD Showcase, History HD, Film1 HD and Sport1 HD But because no Dutch network had made the move to HD, already broadcast in widescreen and the quality of the standard-definition PAL signal was good enough for most people, demand was low.

Since the 2006 trials none of the main Dutch networks made the move to HD. This changed in the summer of 2008 when from June 1, 2008, until August 24, 2008, the Netherlands Public Broadcasting (NPO) organisations made their primary channel, NPO 1 temporary available in HD. This made it possible to broadcast Euro 2008, the 2008 Tour de France, and the 2008 Summer Olympics in HD and additionally allowed them to test their systems before the scheduled launch of their permanent HD service in early 2009. The NPO planned to launch their permanent HD service with HD versions of their three channels NPO 1, NPO 2, and NPO 3. Most of the programming in the early stages will consists of upscaled material from their parent channels as in time more programs will become available in HD.[5] Technicolor Netherlands, the company responsible for the technical realisation of the broadcasts of the NPOs television and radio channels, began the summer 2008 test broadcast of NPO 1 HD in 720p/50 as the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) recommends. During the test period an additional 1080i/25 version of the channel was made available to the cable companies because of quality complaints from viewers. No information has been made available what the format of the permanent HD service from the NPO will be.

The commercial broadcasting organization in the Netherlands the SBS Broadcasting Group (NET 5, SBS 6, Veronica) and the channels of RTL Nederland are currently available in HD via cable and satellite.

This is a non-comprehensive list of HD channels available in the Netherlands.

  • NPO 1 HD
  • NPO 2 HD
  • NPO 3 HD
  • RTL 4 HD
  • RTL 5 HD
  • RTL 7 HD
  • RTL 8 HD
  • RTL Z HD
  • SBS 6 HD
  • NET5 HD
  • Veronica HD
  • SBS 9 HD
  • Fox HD
  • Discovery HD
  • Animal Planet HD
  • TLC HD
  • Investigation Discovery HD
  • Discovery Science HD
  • Eurosport 1 HD
  • Eurosport 2 HD
  • Film1 Premiere HD
  • Film1 Action HD
  • Film1 Family HD
  • Film1 Drama HD
  • Film1 Sundance HD
  • History HD
  • National Geographic HD
  • Nat Geo Wild HD
  • 24Kitchen HD
  • Fox Sports 1 Eredivisie HD
  • Fox Sports 2 HD
  • Fox Sports 3 Eredivisie HD
  • Fox Sports 4 HD
  • Fox Sports 5 Eredivisie HD
  • Fox Sports 6 HD
  • Ziggo Sport HD
  • Ziggo Sport Select HD
  • Ziggo Sport Voetbal HD
  • Ziggo Sport Golf HD
  • Ziggo Sport Racing HD
  • AMC HD
  • Food Network HD
  • Fine Living HD
  • Travel Channel HD
  • Stingray Brava HD
  • Stingray Djazz HD
  • Stingray iConcerts HD
  • MTV Live HD
  • MTV HD
  • Comedy Central HD
  • Nickelodeon HD
  • Spike HD
  • HD
  • Fashion TV HD
  • E! HD
  • Disney Channel HD
  • Disney XD HD
  • BBC First HD
  • DanceTrippin TV HD
  • Xite HD
  • Viceland HD
  • HD

Also available on many platforms:

  • BBC One HD
  • BBC Two HD
  • VRT één HD
  • VRT Canvas HD
  • Das Erste HD
  • ZDF HD
  • Arte HD
  • CNN HD
  • BBC World News HD
  • Russia Today HD
  • Al Jazeera English HD

Satellite viewers can receive a number of additional HD channels from the surrounding countries when broadcasting free-to-air. But these channels are not part of HD services offered in the Netherlands nor broadcast programming aimed at the Dutch market.

Defunct or rebranded channels

Television in other languages

To serve those who have another native language than Dutch, there are few television channels in the Netherlands broadcasting in one of the regional languages of The Netherlands. Those broadcasting in English usually target an international audience as well. Most of these channels broadcast through the internet only or have a very limited broadcasting area, with Omrop Fryslân as most notable exception. These channels are:

  • Omrop Fryslân (Frisian), public access regional broadcaster in the province of Friesland
  • (Frisian), web-only channel for Friesland
  • Radio Netherlands Worldwide (English), produces vodcasts on their website in English
  • ThreeNL (English), reruns of Dutch public access programmes either English subtitled or dubbed
  • AFTV (English), available in The Hague and online, targeting Africans in The Netherlands
  • NOS TV (Papiamento), available on Bonaire and online; local Bonaire TV station.
  • RTV-7 (Papiamento, English), available on Ziggo, XS4ALL and KPN. Rebroadcast of Antillian TV Channels in the Netherlands


Sport 7 TV10 Family7 Euro7 MTV Nederland MTV Europe Kindernet Nickelodeon Kindernet Comedy Central The Box Disney XD Jetix Fox Kids TMF TMF9 TMF6 SBS 9 Veronica (SBS) V8 Fox TV10 TV10 Gold NET 5 SBS 6 RTL 8 Tien Talpa Veronica (2002-2003) VTV RTL 7 Yorin Veronica TV (HMG) RTL 5 RTL 4 RTL-Véronique BVN Zomer TV NPO 3 Nederland 3 NPO 2 Nederland 2 TV2 Nederland 2 NPO 1 Nederland 1

See also


  1. ^ "Television, Satellite & Radio Stations in the Netherlands". 
  2. ^ Stichting Kijkonderzoek. "Television in the Netherlands, 2013" (PDF). Stichting KijkOnderzoek. Retrieved 7 April 2014. 
  3. ^ Rijksoverheid (5 November 2013). "Tv kijker kan rekenen op minimaal 30 digitale zenders". 
  4. ^ Jarco Kriek (July 24, 2012). "Ziggo heeft exclusieve primeur RTL Telekids" (in Dutch). Totaal TV. 
  5. ^ Paulo Lopes (2008-05-19). "Nederland 1, 2 en 3 in 2009 deels in HDTV". Marketingfacts (in Dutch). Retrieved 2009-10-21. 

External links

  • (in Dutch) shows programming of Dutch and other stations of surrounding countries
  • (in Dutch) Web site archive of internet-streaming TV programs from the Netherlands
  • Dutch public access programmes in English to be watched on YouTube
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