Economy & Politics

RTL Belgium retains its Luxembourg status

The Belgian branch of the audiovisual group has finally decided to give up repatriating its activities to our neighbors. Consequence: it will not be able to benefit from the aid promised by the Wallonia-Brussels Federation.

The Belgian branch of the audiovisual group has finally decided to give up repatriating its activities to our neighbors. Consequence: it will not be able to benefit from the aid promised by the Wallonia-Brussels Federation.

(ER) – A little over two months after announcing its intention to join the bosom of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, RTL Belgium has decided to do an about-face. The audiovisual group believes that “its financial situation no longer justifies it” and it also wants “to free itself from the constraints linked to this aid such as the repatriation of activities in Belgium” can we read from our colleagues in the newspaper The evening.

The decision was taken on Friday at the end of a board of directors which “finally decided to renounce the state aid that the Wallonia-Brussels Federation was ready to grant it in the name of the defense of pluralism. “.


The financial impact of the covid-19 crisis pushed the board of the private channel to abandon the Grand Duchy. After almost 15 years in exile, the group joined the Wallonia-Brussels Federation (FWB) and hopes to be able to receive state aid.


The main reason for this policy change is the improved financial results of the company. As a reminder, the request, made in early July, was motivated by the possibility of receiving state aid to minimize the financial impact of the covid-19 crisis.

Another reason mentioned by our colleagues: the aid was conditional on compliance with a series of conditions. “RTL Belgium had to repatriate its activities to Belgium (the company holds a Luxembourg license and is not regulated by the Belgian CSA) and undertake not to distribute dividends to shareholders during the duration of the aid”. A media assistance plan that could be spread over 4 years.


Lokales, Politik, Wirtschaft, RTL Radio, TV, Foto: Anouk Antony / Luxemburger Wort

The international broadcaster suffered a significant drop in profit in the first half of the year as advertising revenues fell. But subscribers to its streaming activities, on the other hand, experienced an explosion of 45%.


As a reminder, this decision concerns in particular the three channels of the audiovisual group in Belgium: RTL TVI, RTL Club and RTL plug. In addition to the Belgian branch, the entire RTL group is bearing the brunt of the consequences of the coronavirus.

The Luxembourg-based media group announced in August that its net profit had fallen from 443 million last year to some 156 million for the first six months of this year. In particular, the melting of advertising revenues throughout Europe.


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