In 2017 the Dutch were (once again) ranked as the best English speakers from a non-native English-speaking country. If you ask a Dutch person why we are so good at speaking English, you will probably be told that it’s all thanks to the TV. 

Unlike the French or even the Germans, we don’t have the habit of dubbing over everything, meaning that every movie, series and TV show is shown in the original language (with subtitles). For expats that offers the opportunity to watch television in their native language and get to learn Dutch at the same time. We’ll tell you more about what’s being broadcasted in the Netherlands.

What do we Watch?

We can’t deny that public channels sound kind of dull and have a reputation of being incredibly dull, but in the Netherlands, this is all but the case. In fact, it’s probably the best television available. These channels are known to have an informative character and attract the biggest crowds. The NOS Journaal (the news on NPO 1 at 20:00) and the current Dutch affairs television program Nieuwsuur (NPO 2 at 22:00) are longtime favorites among the Dutch. Most of the news and informative programs feature content in English accompanied by subtitles.

Needless to say, Dutch children always enjoy Sesamstraat (of course, Sesame Street) and that program might help you practice some basic Dutch. Other programs like Boer Zoekt Vrouw (based on the English format Farmer Wants a Wife), De Wereld Draait Door (a popular talk show) and De Rijdende Rechter (modeled on the American TV show The People’s Court) keep us in front of the television all night after dinner. But we also enjoy sports and soccer in particular. The NPO offers a whole lot of sports including Studio Sport which we all watch (either voluntarily or involuntarily) while enjoying dinner on Sunday.

The Dutch TV market

Cable TV is fairly cheap in the Netherlands and accessed by over 90% of the Dutch population. The standard TV package includes English language channels such as BBC 1, BBC 2, BBC World, and CNN. The most important Dutch TV channels are the public channels NPO 1, 2, 3 and the commercial television stations RTL 4, 5, 7, 8, Veronica and Net 5. Those channels are supplemented with international TV stations like National Geographic, Discovery Channel and some children’s channels, amongst others. Local TV channels are usually also included in the TV package of choice. For additional channels including films and sports, you can select the more extensive premium packages. The leading TV providers in the Netherlands are KPN and Ziggo.

Ziggo: the Major Supplier of TV

Whether you’re renting or buying a property, one of the first things you’ll want to install is internet and tv. If you’re renting, your contact person will inform you if these communication services are included in your monthly payments. If not, Ziggo is the leading supplier of television, and their packages include all the channels mentioned above and some additional TV stations. For those who enjoy sports Ziggo would definitely be the right package. Ziggo TV offers the following additional channels:

  • Ziggo Sport.
  • Ziggo Sport Select.
  • Ziggo Sport Voetbal.
  • Ziggo Sport Golf.
  • Ziggo Sport Racing.
  • Ziggo Sport Extra 1.
  • Ziggo Sport Extra 2.
  • Ziggo TV.

Ziggo Sport is an open sports channel available to Ziggo digital subscribers, broadcasting English Premier League football, English League Cup games, Spanish Primera División football, World Cup qualifiers, Formula 1 motor racing and Rugby 6 Nations.

Want to watch Dutch television?

PartnerPete helps you to get connected to the best television suppliers in the Netherlands. Want to know which company is the best fit for your viewing habits? Give us a call on +31 20 7372124 or leave your details and we will call you back as soon as possible.