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Netherlands Sport

On his 54th birthday BBC Sport looks back at Marco van Basten's brilliant goal for the Netherlands in their 2-0 1988 European Championship final win against the USSR. | 10/31/18

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are soaking up the last of the Sydney Invictus Games.

The royal couple, who are expecting their first child in the spring, headed to the wheelchair basketball final on Saturday (local time). England won third in bronze medal match against New Zealand while the Netherlands and the U.S. competed in the gold medal game.

Meghan was dressed in a maroon top by Australian brand Scanlan Theodore and black pants with her hair styled half-up, half-down while Harry wore a black Invictus Games polo shirt. The parents-to-be, who were greeted by attendees with a roaring applause, were seated with Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Defence Minister Christopher Pyne.

David Beckham, who serves as an Invictus Games ambassador, was also spotted in the crowd with his son Romeo, though they appeared to be seated on the opposite side.

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Later, the couple presented gold medals to Team USA as they congratulated each player on their victory.

Harry and Meghan kicked off the Paralympic-style competition for wounded and recovering service members and veterans with the Jaguar Land Rover Driving Challenge last week — while wearing matching Invictus Games shirts!

They then headed to the opening ceremony, where Harry couldn’t help but mention their exciting baby news.

“First of all, thank you for the welcome you have given Meghan and I over the last few days,” he shared with the crowd gathered at the Sydney Opera House. “I have been so proud to be able to introduce my wife to you and we have been so happy to be able to celebrate the personal joy of our newest addition with you all.”

Before heading to Fiji and Tonga, Harry attended a cycling race before being joined by Meghan on a boat to cheer on competitors in a sailing event.

Following the Invictus Games Closing Ceremony, where Harry will give another speech, the couple will head to New Zealand to wrap up their royal tour. | 10/27/18
The Great Britain women’s wheelchair basketball team lose 56-40 to the Netherlands in the World Championship final in Hamburg. | 8/25/18
Dutch soccer great Marco van Basten dismissed criticism of his meeting last week with Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying he only discussed the sport and did not raise the downing of a plane which killed 196 people from the Netherlands. | 7/12/18

Next week, the FIFA World Cup will kick off in Russia and, inevitably, monopolize the attention of countless millions of soccer fans worldwide. So if you’re a Hollywood studio with a major summer blockbuster coming out over the next four weekends, how do you work around the biggest single-event sports competition in the world?

Universal and Disney have adopted differing release strategies for their respective “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” and “Ant-Man and The Wasp” to deal with the singular World Cup challenge. Particularly in Europe, where several major markets have teams expected to make runs deep into the tournament. For Universal, that’s a large reason why “Fallen Kingdom” is being released this week in 48 countries, well before American audiences get to see it.

Duncan Clark, Universal’s head of international distribution, says Europe will get “Fallen Kingdom” two weeks ahead of the U.S. in order to give the film eight days in theaters before the World Cup kicks off. Eight of the countries in this first release wave will have teams competing in the Cup’s opening weekend, including defending champion Germany.

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“The first couple of weeks there are games every day, but once you get to the playoff rounds the matches happen every three days or so,” he said. “Sometimes you have a matchup at that point between two major teams, but on the flipside you could have a top country in a match that isn’t a must-win or is against a nominal opponent.”

One territory that studios won’t have to worry about is South America. Even though Argentina and Brazil are perennial World Cup contenders, the time zone difference — the farthest-west part of Russia is 6 hours ahead of Brazil — means that those countries will be watching Neymar and Messi compete in the morning, well before primetime for movie theaters.

Disney, meanwhile, has two films that will be competing against the World Cup: “The Incredibles 2” and “Ant-Man and The Wasp.” For the Mouse House, working their release dates around Europe’s passion for footy is a simple repeat of the release strategy it used three years ago when the first “Ant-Man” hit theaters in July.

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Back then, “Ant-Man” came out in the U.S. three weeks after Pixar’s “Inside Out,” a film that grossed $857 million worldwide. Disney always puts out summer Pixar films during weekends that coincide with kids in different countries being out on school break.

This meant that for “Ant-Man,” Disney had to treat the film differently than they do for most Marvel movies, where release dates are kept close together — in part to mitigate spoilers — and the film is released in the U.S. after a large suit of other countries. Instead, the U.S. was part of the first wave of release in mid-July, with 25 other countries getting “Ant-Man” in the following weeks.

So for “Ant-Man and The Wasp,” which will come out in the U.S. on the same weekend as the World Cup quarterfinals, Disney will stretch out the overseas dates to give Scott Lang some distance from “Incredibles 2.” Most notably, major soccer nations like France, Netherlands, Germany, the U.K., Spain, and Portugal will get the film after the World Cup final takes place on July 15.

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Clark says that while the World Cup is always something that can’t be ignored when releasing summer flicks, the rapid popularity growth of sports over the past decade has given him and his peers plenty of experience dealing with it.

“For a long time now, we’ve been used to competing with sports events  as the broadcasting deals for the World Cup and the Olympics and other big sports have gotten bigger and bigger,” he said. “Two years ago, we were scheduling our films around the Olympics and the Euro Cup, and we did well with ‘The Secret Life of Pets.'”

“Sports have become so pervasive year-round, but they have a pretty fixed schedule and we know how to handle them.”

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Discovery and the PGA Tour have struck a massive $2 billion deal for tournament rights outside of the United States through 2030. That’s a lot of green — and we’re not just talking about the putting surfaces.

The pricey (and lengthy) alliance, which tees off next year, will result in about 2,000 hours of content annually and nearly 150 tournaments, including The Players Championship, the FedExCup Playoffs, and the Presidents Cup. It will grant Discovery the exclusive non-U.S. television and multiplatform rights to all PGA Tour golf events by 2024 — here is a timetable for implementation:

Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, Spain
Poland, South Korea
Belgium, China, Germany, South Africa
Denmark, Finland, India, Norway, Sweden, UK

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About those multiplatform rights: Together, Discovery and the PGA Tour will develop a new PGA Tour-branded OTT video streaming service to serve 220 markets and territories.

“Today is a fantastic day for golf fans around the world as Discovery proudly partners with the PGA Tour to create something that has never been done before,” David Zaslav, president and CEO, Discovery, said. “The long-term partnership between the PGA Tour and Discovery will create the new global Home of Golf, including delivering over 2000 hours of live content year-round and this prestigious sport’s greatest moments, stories and athletes. Following our successful first Olympic Games in PyeongChang, Discovery will contribute its strong global distribution and promotional infrastructure, in-market relationships, global sports expertise with direct-to-consumer platforms and brands to create a valuable new long-term Home of Golf offering in every market outside the U.S.”

“This is an exciting next step for the PGA Tour, which presents a tremendous opportunity to accelerate and expand our media business outside the United States, better service our international broadcast partners, and drive fan growth with a deeply experienced strategic global partner,” added Jay Monahan, commissioner, PGA Tour. “This partnership aligns very well with the opening of PGA Tour offices in London, Tokyo and Beijing in recent years and will support our long-term objectives of growing the game of golf. It also will deliver more value to our sponsors as it presents a tremendous opportunity to engage new and diverse audiences around the world.”

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The partnership will be led by Discovery’s Alex Kaplan, who is president and general manager of the new Discovery and PGA Tour venture. His management team will include the PGA Tour’s Thierry Pascal as head of distribution.

Kaplan previously was an executive vice president at Eurosport Digital, where he helped grow the Eurosport D2C business to over 1 million subscribers. Prior to joining Discovery, Kaplan was a senior vice president of global media distribution for the NBA.

“I am incredibly excited to work with David Zaslav and JB Perrette to take international coverage of PGA Tour golf to the next level,” Kaplan said. “We can’t wait to get started and build a world-class global platform and long-term distribution strategy to turn the vision of this partnership into a reality. By joining forces with the outstanding PGA Tour team, led by Jay Monahan and Rick Anderson, we have a unique opportunity to build an amazing product that will serve the fans with the golf content they love on every screen.”

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BBC Sport looks back on one of the most infamous incidents in World Cup history, when Netherlands player Frank Rijkaard spat in the hair of Germany's Rudi Voller. | 6/1/18
BBC Sport looks back on one of the most infamous incidents in World Cup history, when Netherlands player Frank Rijkaard spat in the hair of Germany's Rudi Voller. | 6/1/18
BBC Sport looks back on Louis van Gaal's inspired goalkeeping substitution just before the Netherlands' penalty shootout with Costa Rica in their 2014 World Cup quarter-final. | 5/12/18
BBC Sport remembers Archie Gemmill's incredible solo goal to put Scotland 3-1 up against the Netherlands at the 1978 World Cup in Argentina. | 5/2/18
BBC Sport looks back on Nigel de Jong's 'karate kick' into Xabi Alonso's chest during the 2010 World Cup final between the Netherlands and Spain in South Africa. | 5/1/18
BBC Sport profiles Netherlands forward Lieke Martens, a nominee for the BBC Women's Footballer of the Year 2018 award. | 4/22/18
BBC Sport chief football writer Phil McNulty assesses the performances of England's players in their 1-0 victory over the Netherlands. | 3/23/18
As England face Ronald Koeman's Netherlands, BBC Sport recalls a meeting that wrecked the late Graham Taylor's 1994 World Cup hopes. | 3/22/18
Once soccer’s brightest young thing, Odegaard joined Real Madrid at age 16. But with playing time hard to come by, he moved to the Netherlands, seeking a different route to the top. | 2/1/18

Approximately 4.5 million of the 16 million people in the Netherlands are registered to one of the 35,000 sports clubs in the country. About two thirds of the population older than 15 years participates in sports weekly. Football is the most popular sport in the Netherlands, with field hockey and volleyball as the second and third most popular team sports. Tennis, gymnastics and golf are the three most widely played individual sports. A number of native Dutch sports is also practiced, such as fierljeppen (Polsstokverspringen), beugelen, kaatsen, klootschieten, kolven and korfball. Organization of sports began at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. Federations for sports were established (such as the speed skating federation in 1882), rules were unified and sports clubs came into existence. A Dutch National Olympic Committee was established in 1912. Thus far, the nation has won 230 medals at the Summer Olympic Games and another 78 medals at the Winter Olympic Games. An influential figure in Dutch sport was Pim Mulier. In 1879 he founded the first rugby and football club in the Netherlands, he was involved in forming the first tennis club in 1884, established the predecessor of the Royal Dutch Football Association five years later, and introduced field hockey in 1896.

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