A subsidiary of RTL, Europe’s premier audio-visual group, RTL Belgium is market leader among the French-speaking Belgian TV channels and radio stations.
Every day, more than two million viewers watch one of the group’s three channels: RTL-TVi, Club RTL and Plug RTL, while on the radio, Bel RTL and Radio Contact draw close to 600,000 daily listeners. On the web, meanwhile, RTLinfo.be welcomes more than 275,000 visitors each day.
With a turnover of more than €200 million, the RTL group in Belgium owes its success to a simple yet effective formula: reinventing itself every day and creating a real bond with the audience (listeners, viewers, advertisers and consumers). This is due to the unfailing enthusiasm of a dynamic, passionate team.
- In 1924, Luxembourg-born radio equipment businessman François Anen operates a small 50 watts transmitter for the very first time in his homeland. The little radio set is set up in the attic of a building on the Rue Beaumont and is christened Association Radio Luxembourg.
- On 11 May 1929, François Anen teams up with Henry Etienne and Jean Le Duc to form the Société Luxembourgeoise d’Etudes Radiophonique (SLER).
- On 8 June 1931, the SLER becomes the Compagnie Luxembourgeoise de la Radio and broadcasts its first station under the name Radio Luxembourg. A long-wave transmitter is set up in Junglinster. The fledgling radio station makes good use of its ideal geographical situation to display European ambitions. Initially, Radio Luxembourg is broadcast in three languages: German, French and English, across four territories (Luxembourg, Belgium, Germany and France).
- In 1932, the radio station sets up home in the renowned Villa Louvigny at the heart of Luxembourg City Park.
- On 23 January 1955, the first-ever Télé Luxembourg programmes are broadcast! The Grand Duchess Charlotte officially unveils the new television channel. The CLR becomes the CLT (Compagnie Luxembourgeoise de Télédiffusion) and goes beyond the scope of its historic activity, namely radio. The Télé Luxembourg transmitter in Dudelange permits reception of the channel in Luxembourg, the Lorraine region and the Belgian Ardennes.
- 1966: Radio Luxembourg changes its name to RTL.
- 1976 and 1977 are key years in the history of RTL. George Lang starts presenting the radio station’s night programmes, while Les Grosses Têtes are launched on 1 April 1977. These two flagship programmes are still on the air today.
- By 1985, numerous television channels are being broadcast on Belgian territory. The government needs to regulate the audio-visual sector and introduces a law stipulating that only one television channel (with at least one member of the written press on its Board of Directors) per linguistic community will be allowed to broadcast advertisements. In December, the Audiopresse group, formed by representatives from all of the daily press publications, chooses RTL Télévision as the commercial channel and creates RTL Télévision in partnership with the CLT.
- On 30 July 1986, the first private television channel is launched onto the Belgian French-speaking audio-visual landscape, after the signing of an agreement for the running of the French Community’s private television channel with TVi SA.
- On 12 September 1987, the RTL Télévision channel changes name and becomes RTL-TVi (an abbreviation of Radio Télévision Luxembourg – Télévision Indépendante).
- In 1991, TVi SA creates the first private general radio station, Bel RTL, in association with the Rossel Group. Leading Belgian music channel Radio Contact soon joins the group.
- TVi SA anticipates the evolution of television and, in 1995, the group’s second channel is launched. Its name is Club RTL.
- 1999 sees the creation of the websites of the RTL channels. RTL info will emerge in 2007, with mobile apps following in 2010.
- In February 2004, the new and third channel of the RTL group, Plug TV (renamed Plug RTL in 2008), adopts an offbeat tone.
- In October 2006, the 14,500 m² building on Avenue Ariane was no longer sufficient to house all the audiovisual projects of the rapidly expanding group. The decision was then made to build a building with a façade length of 170 metres and a surface area of 18,500 m². The RTL Belgium family left Avenue Ariane and moved to the corner of Chaussée de Louvain and Avenue Jacques Georgin in Schaerbeek.
- In January 2007, the radio station Mint came on the air and hit it off with both the media and listeners thanks to its originality. In just a few months, more than 120,000 listeners were tuning in daily, in response to its slogan “La musique a meilleur goût”. In October 2008, RTL Belgium put an end to its existence on the FM band. After maintaining its presence on the Web, Mint returned to the airwaves in January 2016 thanks to a partnership with the provincial networks Must FM, Maximum FM and BXFM.
- Plug Mobile by Proximus was launched in January 2007, when Proximus announced the launch of a new pre-paid offer in collaboration with the Plug TV television station (currently known as Plug RTL).
- In 2007, RTL Belgium launched RTL à l’infini, its Video on demand (VOD) service, initially available on decoders of Belgacom TV. Today the offer is available from all operators. RTL à l’infini also offers Free video on demand (FVOD), Transactional video on demand (TVOD) and Subscription video on demand (SVOD).
- Radio Contact launched its music television channel, Contact Vision, in 2009. This radio simulcast station is available on radiocontact.be and is broadcast on all digital platforms in French-speaking Belgium.
- In June 2009, a new mobile subscription formula known as Allo RTL was launched. In addition to telephone and texting, subscribers can watch RTL-TVi, Club RTL and Plug RTL anywhere, and have unlimited access to RTL info.
- Radio Contact launched its own telephone brand, Contact Mobile, in September 2011, a product with affordable prices and a strong identity, the latter being the main characteristic of French-speaking Belgium’s leading music radio station. Contact Mobile was the result of a partnership between KPN Group Belgium and RTL Belgium. In December 2015, Contact Mobile became Allo RTL.
- In March 2012, RTL Belgium partnered with Mobistar to relaunch Plug Mobile, which later became Plug Mobile by Mobistar. This new telephone offer provides free access to content from the three RTL Belgium channels through 3G.
- In late 2014, the RTL-TVi newscast was renamed RTL info. The concept was revamped, not only in terms of editorial content, but also image and production processes, with a 14-metre-long panoramic HD screen dominating the RTL info studio.
- Bel RTL has been broadcasting since September 2015. This radio station with TV simulcast is available on the Web and certain broadcast channels in French-speaking Belgium.
- Since November 2015, RTL à l’infini has been available as an app in the Android Market and Apple Store. RTL à l’infini is accessible by Internet connection on computers, tablets and smartphones. RTL à l’infini is available any time, anywhere and on all devices.