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Fans of Eredivisie clubs left in limbo as games leave ESPN+

Eredivisie games leave ESPN+

Fans wanting to watch the new season of Eredivisie will be disappointed to hear that ESPN+ is no longer the US broadcaster.

World Soccer Talk has confirmed that the Dutch Eredivisie was unable to renew its deal with ESPN+. As a result, broadcasts of the games are now in limbo. Subsequently, there is no way to legally watch the games in the United States.

In the meantime, the 2022/23 Eredivisie season begins Friday, August 5.

For fans of Dutch Eredivisie clubs, this is unfortunately a familiar feeling. For instance, another season is getting ready to begin, and the rights to the Dutch league are on the move again.

Prior to ESPN+ broadcasting the league since 2018, the Eredivisie has been shown across Fox Soccer Channel, ESPN2, GolTV, ESPN3, NGSN, OZ.com and Univision Deportes in addition to not being available anywhere for a season or two.

Eredivisie games leave ESPN+. What’s next?

World Soccer Talk has reached out to IMG, the rights broker who is responsible for selling the rights in the United States. As of press time, an IMG spokesperson could not be immediately reached for comment.

In spite of this, IMG is seeking a new broadcaster for the 2022/23 season of the Eredivisie. With plenty of streaming services available to offer the games, hopefully the Eredivisie will return to US airwaves in the immediate future.

However, facing so much competition from other leagues that play games at similar kickoff times, the Dutch Eredivisie always faces a struggle of trying to become relevant to viewers in the United States. In the same manner, the Dutch Eredivisie does feature competitive games played in stadiums with exciting atmospheres, but it’s seen as more of a feeder system for bigger leagues throughout the continent of Europe.

Photo credit: BSR Agency / Contributor via Getty Images

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59 Comments

59 Comments

  1. Bobb

    August 18, 2022 at 10:23 pm

    I was scrolling thru espn+ earlier tonight and noticed they have two matches listed as upcoming for this Sunday. Hopefully that’s correct and we can get back to watching eredivisie!

    • WC Dave

      August 19, 2022 at 7:48 am

      Thanks for the tip. I went to ESPN to confirm your info, and indeed those two matches are listed on the ESPN+ schedule as well as the football schedule on the main ESPN site — Sparta/Ajax and Waalwijk/Feyenoord. Hard to imagine ESPN would have put these entries up by mistake, so like you I’m hopeful of being able to watch Ajax again on Sunday.

    • JP

      August 19, 2022 at 8:20 am

      Can confirm as well! Great news. With PSV and AZ Alkmaar off this weekend because of European qualifying matches, makes sense it’s only two vs the usual three or four as well.

      Gaffer, do we know if this is just another one year deal, or did they re-up for multiple this time and save us this headache next season.

      • Bring Back Fox Soccer Plus and Setanta!

        August 19, 2022 at 9:12 am

        Just looked on the main ESPN page this morning, and I was happy to see Ajax’s next match listed at the top with ESPN+ next to it. Figured I’d come to this site to see if anyone else noticed it as well. This is great news for fans of the Eredivise in the US.

    • Michael

      August 19, 2022 at 5:01 pm

      Excited to see some Dutch soccer this weekend. I actually just started ESPN+ a couple weeks ago assuming I’d get to see Ajax matches, but I guess ESPN was busy playing hardball with IMG.

      But the matches I’ve been streaming so far, almost all La Liga, have been having all kinds of streaming issues. The match for Real Betis was completely unwatchable because of freezing.

      Is this typical of ESPN+? Am i celebrating too early because the Eredivisie will be freezing half the time? Or do I need new internet? Paramount+ and Peacock work well for me for streaming matches, but ESPN+ has been a fail for me so far.

      • dave

        August 19, 2022 at 5:12 pm

        @Michael, I do not watch La Liga but ESPN+ is fairly often in my viewing rotation by way of ESPN app on iPad or Roku. I do not experience undue freezing issues with their English soccer, scripted shows, or college sports. Hopefully the problems you had are temporary and not a harbinger of incipient quality problems

      • JP

        August 19, 2022 at 7:20 pm

        @Michael, ESPN+ is usually very reliable, but I had issues last weekend with it throwing me out of some matches randomly and not able to get anything beyond black screen when entering the match again until I closed the app and opened again.

  2. Pedro Augusto Lopes

    August 18, 2022 at 8:10 pm

    Check espn + schedule for Eredivisie looks like it’s back, finally

  3. Chris

    August 16, 2022 at 9:50 am

    I am so disappointed to have missed the first two matches so far… Does anyone know if any progress has been made on a streaming platform purchasing the rights to broadcast in the US?

    • Christopher Harris

      August 16, 2022 at 10:39 am

      The latest update on Eredivisie rights is in the news segment of our latest podcast episode:
      https://worldsoccertalk.com/podcasts/handshakes-red-cards-and-whiparound-shows-wst-podcast/

      • Leo S

        August 17, 2022 at 10:51 am

        Hi Chris
        I was unable to access the podcast.
        Is it possible for you to post the latest news on the eredivisie on us tv?
        Thanks

        • Bring Back Fox Soccer Plus and Setanta!

          August 19, 2022 at 9:17 am

          Me-Hey Gaffer I have a question…could you answer it?

          Gaffer-Why yes I can, but you need to find a 30 second clip within a 45 minute podcast that we did…and I’m not going to tell you where it is placed…to find your answer.

          Me-Gee…thanks. (Waits 2 days to see that the Ajax match is listed on ESPN+.)

          In all seriousness, I do greatly appreciate the hard work that you put into this site. It is one of my “go to” sites each and every day.

          And for the record…I do listen to the pod on occasion. It is also good.

  4. J Eerkens

    August 14, 2022 at 3:08 pm

    Loved watching Eredivisie last season on ESPN+, but just canceled my ESPN+ subscription because they dropped Eredivisie. Back to English Premier League on NBC and Peacock.

    • Ethan

      August 14, 2022 at 11:16 pm

      I did the same. I canceled my ESPN+ subscription.

  5. Eric

    August 10, 2022 at 10:18 pm

    I just saw this in your article about the EFL:
    “Now that the deal has been signed, ESPN can focus on other rights negotiations. According to World Soccer Talk sources, that includes the Dutch Eredivisie. Fans of Dutch football were disappointed to miss the opening of the 2022/23 season. Hopefully a deal can be signed soon so that coverage can resume.”

    Can you give us a better idea of the chances ESPN will resume coverage of the Eredivisie? How likely might this be and how quickly it might happen?
    Thanks!

  6. Ethan

    August 9, 2022 at 5:13 pm

    Yesterday I read on ESPN+ that on August 23, they will increase the monthly and yearly subscriptions starting August 23. It seems after that they will broadcast the Eredivisie.

  7. Erik

    August 9, 2022 at 3:01 am

    Yesterday ESPN announced the rights renewal for the Copa del Rey and Supercopa through 2027.

    In the press release they said:
    “Copa del Rey and Spanish Super Cup join an unmatched lineup of approximately 2,000 annual soccer matches on ESPN+, led by LaLiga Santander and Smartbank, Germany’s Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2, the Emirates FA Cup, Carabao Cup and EFL, Dutch Eredivise, Liga MX, USL, U.S. Open Cup, and more.”

    They claim that they still air the Eredivise in the press release. I hope it means they renewed the rights to the Eredivise but it’s probably just an error.

    https://espnpressroom.com/us/press-releases/2022/08/espn-espn-renew-copa-del-rey-and-supercopa-de-espana/

    • KW

      August 9, 2022 at 8:59 am

      What’s interesting is that’s it’s not in the Spanish version of the press release. Must be a mistake.

  8. JP

    August 8, 2022 at 12:43 pm

    Gaffer, has IMG made any comments regarding potential ongoing negotiations with other providers? The Eredivisie and bigger clubs like Ajax and PSV surely can’t be happy they’re out of sight out of mind in the US market right now.

    • Christopher Harris

      August 8, 2022 at 1:08 pm

      Not a word. I’m disappointed that they’re not being communicative. The same applies to the Eredivisie, too.

      • JP

        August 8, 2022 at 3:41 pm

        Thanks, hopefully we get a nice surprise soon. Really loved the 10:45am Sunday Eredivisie window between 9am and 12pm Serie A. Even 8:30am was easy to follow along with 9am Serie with the half hour head start and timing of HT breaks.

      • SteveK

        August 9, 2022 at 9:20 am

        Christopher, would you consider doing a piece on these rights brokers who are “selling” the rights because that’s something that seems to exist in the shadows. In this instance Endeavor IMG is the broker, so does that mean that they have won the bid from the league by guaranteeing the Eredivisie a certain dollar amount for the rights–presumably more than outfits like Relevant Sports–and now they are looking for someone to pay above that dollar amount so they, IMG, make money on the deal? Is it fair to say that IMG pitched a rights renewal fee to ESPN and ESPN rejected it? Is that the nature of this impasse? Is IMG on the hook for that amount they promised the Eredivisie since ESPN+ passed on the renewal up until they do actually sell the rights to someone?

        • dave

          August 9, 2022 at 8:42 pm

          @SteveK, I too would find discussion of the third-party sports rights business model very interesting. While opaque, SUM could be a related and interesting case. I believe part of their business is helping “broker” ex-US teams (especially Mexico) to play in the US. They also have a TV-rights brokering history (and maybe present/future?)

  9. Karl

    August 8, 2022 at 10:23 am

    So the eredivisie is fine not being available in the US? What are they doing?

  10. Ethan

    August 6, 2022 at 8:15 pm

    I am sad like you all, but I am also happy because ESPN+ is the worst broadcaster. I pay them monthly, and sometimes their login and their services suck. I hope paramount+ or peacock broadcast the Eredivisie.

    • jason

      August 7, 2022 at 11:30 am

      I got E+ still just because its part of D+ and Hulu package which other familiy uses regularly. Thats how they get most of us! Despite the quality drop. I too notice many EFL games replays are not getting posted. Norwich/Wigan is spanish only. West Brom/Midde from last week got posted only this weekend. Maybe WST can help clarify us on what the deal with EFL on E+ is. Seems to have changed.

      • Christopher Harris

        August 7, 2022 at 11:41 am

        It’s quite possible that due to the Championship renewal not being formally signed yet between the EFL and ESPN that the on-demand versions are not made available in a timely manner, if at all.

      • jim

        August 8, 2022 at 6:16 pm

        great point jason. that west brom posting on saturday was esp. irritating. hope chris is right and they get this “fixed” once the contract is renewed.

        • Piet

          August 13, 2022 at 5:19 pm

          ESPN increased prices with less coverage. Another way to describe inflation. Get with the program ESPN and cover the Eredivisie.

    • Pete

      August 8, 2022 at 3:18 pm

      Well said. Hopefully this is a blessing in disguise, and someone picks up ons voetbal soon.

  11. Jeff

    August 6, 2022 at 6:37 pm

    This is so disappointing especially in the era when virtually every league was available in some fashion in the US. What I do not understand is that ESPN bought the rights until the 2024 season, so what happened? In any case, I watched the Ajax game through a VPN so it does work. Not the greatest but at least we can watch the games and follow our team.

    • Ajax3777

      August 7, 2022 at 8:16 am

      What country did you use for VPN? Thanks.

      • Jeff

        August 7, 2022 at 9:17 am

        The UK. Very easy and it worked without any problems.

        • Rosina

          August 8, 2022 at 11:33 am

          Do you need a subscription?

  12. Harry H.

    August 6, 2022 at 4:29 pm

    That’s very disappointing. Also, anyone see that ESPN+ didn’t upload replays of all the Bundesliga matches from 6:30 PST, and the Burnley match from 7:00 PST? I just spoke to customer service, who relayed a message from his superiors that this particular situation is indeed not a fluke, and that the matches won’t be uploaded.

  13. MarriedDutch

    August 6, 2022 at 2:06 pm

    Well this just sucks. We’re with everyone else here thinking ESPN+ is probably not worth the money any longer. Can’t help but notice any stream or station Disney has taken over is no longer the same programing quality or depth of programing as before they acquired the product. Like others said, only about the money.

  14. Erika

    August 6, 2022 at 11:25 am

    Ah! Bummer.

  15. EUGENE M BREURING

    August 6, 2022 at 9:18 am

    Sad Sad Sad. watching Ajax matches in the Eredivisie were a highlight of the weekend…nothing lasts forever. I guess ManU is a the closest thing to watching Ajax nowadays! And Barca… (sigh)
    I will no longer need ESPN+ I guess I am saving a little money this way.

  16. Bob

    August 6, 2022 at 7:02 am

    Ouch, and I am so excited for this season! The Eredivisie signed bigger names and keeps developing the next great players all the time at the same time. What is the back door way to watch this?

    • Leo

      August 6, 2022 at 9:52 am

      Legally, probably VPN. ESPN still broadcast Eredivisie in South America.

  17. Michael

    August 5, 2022 at 4:03 pm

    90 minuten lang, voor onze club uit Amsterdam!

    As a Dutch Ajax fan living in Los Angeles, I’m hoping something gets arranged in the next 24 hours (when Ajax starts their 22/23 season).

  18. Leo

    August 4, 2022 at 9:10 pm

    Another casualty of that gigantic LaLiga and ESPN+ deal.

  19. DiRT

    August 4, 2022 at 8:07 pm

    So what’s driving the price up? Just the usual Disney greed?

  20. Eric

    August 4, 2022 at 7:12 pm

    This is incredibly frustrating.
    As far as I’m concerned, there’s not much left of value on ESPN+ apart from La Liga and the Bundesliga. Since it seems the more important matches in those leagues are either on ABC or ESPN, I don’t think I can justify keeping ESPN+ at this point.

  21. Ra

    August 4, 2022 at 2:42 pm

    Yep, not doing the annual subscription anymore. Considering that they are offering less for more, and the WC will make a month of subscription to waste, I will watch until Sep 22, and then – sayonara.
    Will only consider it if they get Libertadores.

  22. Copa Libertadores to ESPN+, please

    August 4, 2022 at 2:12 pm

    Hoping ESPN+ will have streaming rights to Copa Libertadores starting next season.

    We know beIN can no longer afford to keep it when the current contract expires in October.

    ESPN Brasil and ESPN Argentina have commentators and reporters ON SITE for big Copa Libertadores matches.

    Those Copa Liberatadores broadcasts can stream straight through on ESPN+ (US) if ESPN+ had US rights the way ESPN+ took the summer friendlies played in Argentina and Uruguay each January.

  23. JP

    August 4, 2022 at 1:27 pm

    Oh my God, the rumors were true! Awful news, also weird they had no problem committing to the Belgian league for multiple years but not the Eredivisie which is a better league.

    Here’s to hoping Paramount+ snaps up these rights. Otherwise, they could be fated to end up on Eleven sports with the Danish, Norweigans, and Swiss among others. Please no GolTV (who has the KNVB Cup rights)

    • Mercator

      August 4, 2022 at 2:00 pm

      Maybe Apple or Amazon would take a punt. ESPN+ was really perfect for Eredivisie though given the multicast.

    • Eric

      August 4, 2022 at 6:58 pm

      Thanks for passing along the definitive information.

      It’s really very sad. Surely the Eredivisie offers better quality than lots of the other offerings on ESPN+.
      Yes, it may be more of a feeder system for the top leagues in Europe. At the same time, however, Ajax probably bring more talented young players through their system than any other club in the world. To miss seeing them play every week is a real loss.

    • Miguel Tenorio

      August 5, 2022 at 6:07 pm

      The Belgian League has more American talent than Eredivisie, this is why.

  24. locofooty

    August 4, 2022 at 1:20 pm

    Yet ESPN+ increased their prices. Assholes.

    • Yespage

      August 4, 2022 at 2:02 pm

      Eredivisie rights weren’t driving a price hike for ESPN+.

  25. jason

    August 4, 2022 at 1:16 pm

    Properties gone from E+ now since beginning of year. 1) Uefa internationals 2) Dutch Eredvisie 3)MLS will be gone at end of season.

    Nothing new has come in since. Suggestions: How about Portugal perhaps? That would be a good pickup. Or it just appears its going to be Spain, Germany, some Belgium stuff, and English EFL/FA competitions.

    • Christopher Harris

      August 4, 2022 at 1:23 pm

      GolTV has the rights to the Portuguese league, so that one isn’t available.

      ESPN+ has LaLiga, Bundesliga, Championship, FA Cup, USL, League Cup, Copa del Rey, League One, League Two, 2 Bundesliga, DFL Pokal Cup, MLS, FFA Cup. Belgian league and several other competitions.

      • Ra

        August 4, 2022 at 2:43 pm

        One would argue that they make little use of their Bundesliga 2 rights.

      • WaterlooAjax

        August 4, 2022 at 8:02 pm

        They have two UCL leagues and a bunch of secondary stuff that they likely get for free. Soccer in NA is not a profit market.

      • jason

        August 5, 2022 at 7:33 am

        Thank you Chris, although it is not as much as that list makes it appear to be. League One and Leauge Two for example only is on during international weekends I think. Crazy that Gol TV still exists. Eleven is a better fate than that. By the way Eleven sports is good, I have enjoyed commentary free Norway games all summer!

        • Ajax3777

          August 6, 2022 at 11:52 am

          Very disappointed in this as an Ajax fan! Is there any way I can see the games this season?? 😥

    • Dutch

      August 5, 2022 at 5:49 pm

      Very disappointed. Eredivisie might not be the best league in the world but certainly the most exciting. Crazy games, many new talents. The only reason why I had ESPN+. Anyone knows an alternative to watch Eredivisie?

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