Netherlands profile - Media

  • 12 April 2016
  • From the section Europe
Newspaper front page Image copyright Algemeen Dagblad
Image caption Newspaper ownership is highly concentrated

The Dutch approach to public broadcasting is unique. Programmes are made by groups which reflect political or religious currents, or other interests. These organisations are allocated airtime on TV and radio, in line with the number of members they have.

Public radio and TV face stiff competition from commercial stations. Viewers have access to a wide range of domestic and foreign channels, thanks mainly to one of the highest cable take-up rates in Europe. Every province has at least one local public TV channel. The three national public TV stations enjoy high audience shares.

Freedom of the press is guaranteed by the constitution, as is free speech. Newspaper ownership is highly concentrated.

There were just under 16 million internet users by 2016 (Internetlivestats), comprising 94% of the population.

The press

Image copyright Het Parool


  • NOS - public broadcaster
  • BVN TV - public, for Dutch-speakers abroad
  • RTL - commercial, operates RTL4, RTL5, RTL7 and RTL8
  • SBS - commercial, operates SBS6, Net5 and Veronica


Image copyright radio netherlands
  • NOS - public radio, operates news and information station Radio 1, music network Radio 2, pop station 3FM, cultural station Radio 4
  • Sky Radio - popular commercial FM station, continuous music
  • Radio 538 - popular commercial FM station, pop and dance music
  • BNR Nieuwsradio - commercial, news

News agency/internet