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The Netherlands – (E1) Media ownership concentration national level

Score in short:

The overall market of national, regional, free and specialist newspapers is dominated by three large groups, as is the overall television market. Although less concentrated, the overall radio market too is dominated by just a handful of players. No figures on market shares are available for the Internet.

Score in detail:

Print media

In 2008, the overall market of national, regional, free and specialist newspapers was dominated by three large groups: Telegraaf Media Groep or TMG (De Telegraaf, Sp!ts and a few regional papers), Koninklijke Wegener (mainly regional papers, among which De Gelderlander) and PCM Uitgevers (De Volkskrant, NRC Handelsblad/nrc. next, Trouw, the free paper DAG, and a few regional dailies). TMG is the largest of the three, with a market share of 27.5 % on the basis of circulation (CR1), followed by Wegener with 20.3 % (CR2 = 47.8 %) and in the third place PCM with 17.7 % (CvM 2009). In 2008, Wegener and PCM still had a joint venture in AD Nieuwsmedia (publisher of Algemeen Dagblad and 8 regional newspapers) with a market share of 9.1 %, which also has to be taken into account. The joint total of the three groups (CR3) thus stands at 74.6 %, three quarters of the overall market for newspapers in the Netherlands (CvM 2009). The 2008 situation as described here had practically remained unchanged since 2005. More recent figures for 2009 reveal a slight decline of CR3, which takes the Herfindahl Hirschman Index (HHI) to 0.19, so that the line between a concentrated market (between 0.10 and 0.18) and a strongly concentrated one (>.18) is just exceeded (CvM 2010). The changes from 2008 to 2009 are explained by the take-over of PCM and AD Nieuwsmedia by the Belgian group De Persgroep in March 2009 and the subsequent sale of NRC Handelsblad/ (March 2010) as ordered by the Dutch Competition Authority.

Radio and television

The overall television market too was dominated in 2008 by three large players: the public broadcaster NPo (Nederlandse Publieke Omroep) (Nederland 1, Nederland 2 and Nederland 3), RTL Nederland(RTL4, RTL5, RTL7/RTLz and RTL8) and SBS Nederland (SBS6, Net 5, Veronica) (CvM 2009). NPo’s share of viewing time stood at 34.9 % (CR1), RTL had23.6 % (CR2 = 58.5 %) and SBS had19.3 % (CR3 = 77.8 %). Jointly, therefore, these three broadcasters controlled ten general-interest channels and over three quarters of the television market. When compared with 2007, both the CR3 figure and the HHI (0.28) had risen slightly because of the take-over of the channel Tien (owned by Talpa) by RTL (the channel was renamed RTL8). Since the advent of the first commercial television channels in 1989, the degree of concentration has considerably diminished, but recent figures for 2009 still reveal an HHI of 0.26, in other words a strongly concentrated market.

The overall radio market is slightly less characterized by concentration, though it too is dominated by just a handful of players: the Nederlandse Publieke Omroep or NPo (with eight stations, among which the news station Radio 1), Telegraaf Media Groep or TMG (four stations, among which Sky Radio), RTL Nederland (i.e. Radio 538) and De Persgroep (Q Music). In 2008, NPo had a share of listening time of 30.2 % (CR1), TMGhad 17.6 % (CR2 = 47.8 %), RTL had 11.1 % (CR3 = 58.9 %) and De Persgroep 7 %. These four groups together therefore control about two thirds of the radio market. The HHI has for the past ten years hovered on the borderline between a concentrated and a strongly concentrated market (0.18).

Online platforms

No figures about market shares are available for the Internet. on the basis of the average monthly reach achieved by publishers and broadcasters on the Internet (calculated by adding up all the websites they control), we find that Sanoma (nu. nl), Telegraaf Media Groep and the Nederlandse Publieke Omroep all rank among the top 10 (CvM 2009). Sanoma (ranking second) stands for a reach of 68 %, TMG (ranking fourth) has 54.7 % and NPo (ranking seventh) 50.7 %. Since 2003 the monthly reach of these three providers has doubled. Though PCM Uitgevers (i.e. De Persgroep Nederland since the take-over of 2009) ranks only fifteenth with a 37.9 % share, its sites and are among the top 10.