Absorption of RTL Belgium is “expensive” for RTBF

A tailwind sent L’Echo a note of intent from the FWB government on a future RTBF management contract. On the menu are digital transformation, ad reduction… and the famous puzzle.

The government of the Walloon-Brussels Federation has just adopted “a note of intent setting out its ambitions for a contract to manage the RTBF for 2023-2027,” according to a press release on Monday. Recommendations for making the civil service a vehicle “strongly connected to the challenges of the 21st century” without much detail.

However, in the mentioned note, which was sent by a fair wind to L’Echo, it is clear that the financial headache promises to be difficult for the French-speaking civil service. According to this note,Takeover of RTL Belgium by DPG and Rosselfirst of all, it will be necessary to consequence “to make the fulfillment of RTBF’s public service missions more onerous.

RTL Belgium dominates the TV advertising market

This is the first major problem: the recent takeover of RTL Belgium by DPG Media and Rossel “will bring national media group with a dominant position in the TV advertising marketwith a relatively large portfolio of rights and works and the ability to acquire exclusive rights and enter into transmedia partnerships, which, in particular, makes it more expensive to carry out RTBF public service missions.”

The acquisition, in addition, chain LN24 of the IPM group (LaLibre, DH…) is described there as “big move“, as well as the acquisition of Voo by Orange, in connection with which it would be appropriate monitor the consequences of the “dissemination of audiovisualin French-speaking Belgium.

Advertising investments available on the market are increasingly being shared among local players, print and audiovisual media groups and web giants.

FWB government memorandum of intent on future RTBF management contract

Television is losing feathers among the youth

This is undoubtedly the second major problem: if competition from streaming services no longer a secret, the observation remains defiant: “ten years from now (between 2010 and 2020) and in the francophone Belgian market, linear television lost 20% of its audience aged 12 to 34“, – stated in the note.

Avio and “discoverability”

Therefore, faced with a “dazzling” development of offerings from streaming players, RTBF is invited to develop your “non-linear offer“.

How?” or “What?” Seems to be the first (duplicate) answer: platform “Auvio“that politicians would like to see”FWB cultural information tool“, must “guarantee that its content is free.” The second answer is in a barbaric word: “Detectability“.

The government of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation basically wants the RTBF to develop recommendation algorithms – you know, less rudimentary instruments than the existing ones.

By what means?

The question of means remains the tendons of war. And financially the government recognizes how in the context of rising costs associated with RTBF (salary, content purchases and sports rights, among others), while stating that the budgetary context of the Federation of Wallonia-Brussels… “complicated”.

At this stage, the politician’s intention would be to keep all current appropriations “and their amounts, for the entire duration of the management agreement, with indexation.” In the same time reduction in advertising volume broadcasting “on linear RTBF media” is also supported, although this is not explicitly stated in the note.

In short, RTBF will be ordered develop a stronger digital offering (known as “non-linear”) with more or less equal opportunityall with expected decline in advertising – and its revenue. Yes, the headache for the civil service promises to be considerable.


  • A tailwind sent L’Echo a note of intent from the FWB government for a future RTBF management contract..
  • RTBF will be ordered develop a stronger digital offering, with more or less equal opportunityall with planned ad reduction.
  • According to this note,recent takeover of RTL Belgium by DPG and Rossel will also a consequence of RTBF’s public service missions becoming more onerous.

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