BBC channels cut from The Netherland's biggest cable company


Access to a number of BBC domestic channels is being taken away from the Netherland's biggest cable provider.

BBC Studios, who is responsible for BBC channel distribution outside of the UK, and cable company Ziggo have signed a new contract that excludes BBC Four, CBeebies and CBBC from 1st November 2019.

BBC One, BBC Two alongside BBC Entertainment, BBC First and BBC World News will continue to be available to affected viewers, according to a statement issued by Ziggo on its website.

The BBC has historically been available in countries surrounding the UK, specifically the Netherlands, Belgium and the Republic of Ireland, originally through terrestrial signal overlap. 

As all three countries lie within the UK satellite spotbeam used by British free-to-air broadcasters, broadcasters have to have rights clearance covering these areas. Therefore, it is seen to make commercial sense to monetise overspill reception through deals with local platform operators, also ensuring that non-licence fee payers are not put at an advantage.

BBC Four, CBBC and CBeebies were all sold as part of a higher subscription tier on Ziggo. Cable TV is the main method of receiving TV in The Netherlands, as a result of early adoption of the technology and a historically restricted channel range on terrestrial TV.

The B word...
There are concerns as to how British channels will be able to operate in the EU after Brexit and there had been speculation as to how the BBC overspill carriage would continue. The implementation date of 1st November - the first day following Brexit - hasn't gone unnoticed by some affected Dutch viewers, who have connected the move to Brexit, despite neither side officially making the link.

Incidentally, some British broadcasters have applied for new broadcast licences within the EU, to cover them once their Ofcom licence is no longer valid for broadcasting across Europe. This includes the BBC's commercially funded international channels.