TV was introduced to the consumer market in the Netherlands in the 1950s. The first official Dutch TV broadcast took place on October 2, 1951. In the following decades television grew into an almost indispensable device in millions of Dutch living rooms.
Rise of the internet
At the end of the nineties, the internet was on the rise. In theory, it was soon possible to watch a TV program on the computer via a live stream via the internet. In those primeval times, however, this was not yet a practical option. The internet connections were not yet very fast and, moreover, at the end of the nineties most Dutch people paid for their internet connection via the telephone line every minute that they were online. Watching long TV programs via the internet would therefore become a relatively expensive joke.
In the following years, however, the internet went through a revolution. They got better and faster connections, whereby people no longer paid per minute, but a fixed amount per month. For many Dutch people no longer the TV, but the internet was the most important medium in their lives.
TV via the internet: live stream or watch back
Many of the younger generation don’t even have a TV set or TV subscription anymore. If they still want to watch a TV program, they can do so on their smartphone, laptop or other computer, for example. After all, there are now a lot of possibilities to watch TV programs on the internet. An example of this is the live stream: people watch live TV online via such a stream.
Geo-restricted live stream
Live streams of various TV broadcasts are ‘geo-restricted’. This is mainly due to the online broadcasting rights that a broadcaster has for a particular program or event only for one country. The NOS, for example, only has the broadcasting rights to the live stream of the Tour de France for the Netherlands. The consequence of this is that in the Netherlands the live stream of their Tour broadcasts can be viewed on the NOS website, but that such live streams abroad are blocked (‘geo-blocked’).
NPO (Public broadcaster)
The Dutch public broadcaster (NPO) has a very good range of TV broadcasts via a live stream. The free streaming service of the public broadcaster is called NPO Start . With them you can watch their regular main channels NPO1, NPO2 and NPO3 (the former Netherlands 1, 2 and 3) for free via live streams. This means that every evening on that platform one can watch a live stream of popular programs such as the talk show Op1 , the NOS Journaal , Studio Sport, Even Tot Hier , Nieuwsuur and the talk show M.
Furthermore, free live streams are available on this website from a large number of theme channels of the NPO, including NPO Politiek and NPO News. On the theme channel NPO Nieuws, for example, the NOS Journaal can be viewed 24 hours a day . The debates of the House of Representatives are broadcast live on the NPO Politiek channel . It is also possible to watch the Prime Minister ‘s press conferences on that channel (or via the free live stream of that channel) . In the summer, when parliament is in recess, the channel NPO Politiek is sometimes replaced by the channel NPO Sport, which shows major sporting events live.
At the NPO you can also watch the theme channel Zappelin Extra via a free live stream. On it you can watch children’s television 24 hours a day. For example, Sesame Street can also be viewed several times a day on that channel .
Separate live streams from the NPO
In addition to the live streams of the regular channels and the theme channels, the public broadcaster also has a range of separate live streams for news events and events. For example, a live stream can be found regularly of, for example, important press conferences of politicians, or of sports matches that cannot be seen live on TV. Such a free live stream can usually be found on the NOS website. For example, the NOS broadcasts every press conference of the prime minister via a live stream.
Livestream NOS Journaal
The NOS also offers several options for viewing the NOS Journaal on the internet . For example, a stream is offered to follow the news live via NPO News, but it is also possible to watch the last broadcast of the news automatically from the beginning via a stream.
Missed broadcast: NPO Start and NPO Plus
Most programs at the NPO can still be viewed on a laptop or smartphone after the live broadcast. This can be done via the streaming services NPO Start and NPO Plus . However, due to rights issues, some programs (especially films or documentaries) are only very short and sometimes not available at all on the free streaming service NPO Start. With the paid service NPO Plus, on the other hand, each stream can be viewed at least 365 shortly.
What about viewing the channels of RTL Nederland online, such as RTL4 RTL5, RTL7, RTL8 and RTLZ? The channel RTLZ has a public livestream on its website, with which one can watch this channel directly on a laptop or smartphone. The other RTL channels do not have a public live stream.
However, when you create an account with Videoland , you can watch the programs. This is a subscription for which you have to pay. This service also has all kinds of other options, including even the ability to preview various programs before they are shown on TV. There are also several programs that can even be seen exclusively on Videoland, which are not broadcast on TV.
Talpa Broadcasting (SBS)
Talpa Broadcasting (the company of SBS6, SBS9, Net5 and Veronica) does not have a free live stream of their TV channels available on the website. However, they do have the free online TV platform Kijk . If you have an account there, you get extensive options with that platform to watch programs after they have been broadcast.
Veronica free live stream at sporting events
Although it is not possible to watch this channel live on the Veronica site, this broadcaster often offers a free live stream of events for which they have the broadcasting rights. This applies, for example, to football matches that they broadcast live on TV. However, they also often offer a live stream, with which one can watch live events in full, of which Veronica has the broadcasting rights, but which they do not broadcast live on TV in full. This applies, for example, to events of Glory and UFC, which are often only shown on TV in summary, but which can be viewed live online via a free live stream. With such a Veronica livestream you can log in with a Kijk account, but if you don’t have one, you can also log in with his or her Facebook account.
Watch many TV channels online: NLZIET
The public broadcaster and the major commercial broadcasters (RTL and Talpa) work together in the streaming service NLZIET . In addition, you can watch the channels of the NPO, RTL and Talpa online via a live stream. You can also watch programs from these broadcasters. However, this is a service that requires a paid subscription.
Live stream Regional channels
The same applies to many provincial channels as to the channels of the NPO (Dutch public broadcaster): the regional channels can usually be viewed completely free of charge via a public live stream on the channel’s website. Only occasionally there is not a live stream of their broadcast available. This is the case, for example, when they share the broadcasting rights of a program with another broadcaster and the regional channel does not have the online broadcasting rights for the live stream.
Family7 – live stream for members
The Dutch Christian TV channel Family7 cannot be viewed online for free. There is a livestream of this evangelical channel on their website, but to view this stream of ‘Family7 internet tv’, you must have a subscription. For three euros per month (in 2019) you can become a ‘sponsor’ of Family7. One will then receive the monthly magazine Family7 Tv Magazine and will also have access to the streams and services of ‘Family7 internet tv’.
Livestream Ziggo Sport
The channels of Ziggo Sport can be viewed by live stream via the Ziggo Sport Totaal Go App. To do this, however, one must have a subscription to Ziggo Sport Totaal. However, if you do not have a subscription and still want to watch one specific broadcast of Ziggo Sport on your smartphone or laptop, it is possible to do this via ‘pay per view’. One then pays a few euros to watch that live stream.
FOX Sports: live stream on the Go App
The channels of FOX Sports can also be viewed online via livestream. Just like Ziggo Sport, FOX Sports also has a separate app on which every live stream can be viewed: the FOX Sports Go App. Obviously, one must have a subscription to watch these pay channels via a live stream via that app. FOX Sports does not have a ‘pay per view’ option, with which one could, for example, watch one specific live stream of one Eredivisie match. In 2020 FOX Sports no longer has the option of a day pass for the livestream. Such a day pass, on the other hand, can still be bought for digital TV from FOX Sports.
Eurosport: any live stream on the Eurosport Player
The broadcasts of Eurosport can also be viewed online via a live stream. There is also a separate app for this, which requires a paid subscription: the Eurosport Player App . The Eurosport Player App does not only allow you to watch live streams of sports events that are broadcast on the TV channels Eurosport 1 and Eurosport 2. In addition, the app also offers live streams of events for which Eurosport has the broadcasting rights, but which are not on TV. on Eurosport, because there was no place in the TV programming (because other major sporting events are broadcast live on Eurosport TV channels).
View all channels online via livestream: Ziggo Go App (Horizon)
Most of the options mentioned above in this article are options that TV channels offer to watch their programs via a stream on, for example, a smartphone or laptop or other computer. Most of the options mentioned therefore also apply to people who do not have a TV subscription, but who do have an internet subscription. For people with a TV subscription, however, there are usually more options to watch TV online.
A good example of this is the Ziggo Go App. In the past this service was called Ziggo Horizon. Via Ziggo Go it is possible to watch all channels that are included in the TV subscription, also on the internet via a stream. You can watch any TV broadcast on the Ziggo GO App throughout the EU. In addition, Ziggo Go also offers extra services. For example, you can record programs via the app, or watch missed programs. When you take out an extra subscription, you can also view a wide range of ‘Movies & Series’ via Ziggo Go.
Livestream iTV and Interactive Tv (KPN)
The aforementioned Go App from Ziggo has become a great success. That is why KPN has introduced a similar service for its customers. KPN customers can watch TV on the iTV app on their smartphone or tablet. They can watch TV on a laptop or desktop computer via the Interactive Tv site.