a one-minute non-deactivatable ad screen at the start of any recorded program

a one-minute non-deactivatable ad screen at the start of any recorded program
a one-minute non-deactivatable ad screen at the start of any recorded program

RTL Belgium is the first French-speaking television group to launch a uniform model for television advertising, it announced on Monday. From now on, viewers subscribed to Telenet (and only to Telenet for the moment) will have to watch a one-minute non-skippable advertising screen at the start of any recorded program. And this is only a first step, warns RTL: other TV channels and other telecom operators should follow soon.


A new model

Television consumption habits have changed radically in recent years, the company notes. According to a study it commissioned last fall, the average French-speaking Belgian consumes 5 hours and 37 minutes of videos of all types every day. Of this time, 197 minutes, or 3 hours 17 minutes, are devoted to “traditional” television (linear + recordings + replay). But the media group has also noticed another major change: the growing increase in the time-lapse of advertisements, which concerns many advertisers.

Market players have already worked together on initiatives such as personalized advertising (using television advertising in a targeted manner) or pause button advertising (showing an advertisement when there is a pause), recalls RTL. But these initiatives alone are no longer enough to maintain a sufficient level of income, notes the media group.

“To preserve the quality and success of local content in the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, the various players in the sector have worked together to provide a uniform solution through this new advertising model,” explains the company that owns the RTL tvi channels, RTL club and RTL plug.

“Television, competitive dynamics with streaming platforms, the breakthrough of IPTV and consumption patterns have constantly evolved in recent years, pushing local players to reinvent themselves and reaffirm their position thanks to their local content , their media, their talents and their strong brands. It is therefore crucial to continue to preserve our business model in a responsible, balanced and sustainable manner for everyone,” insists Guillaume Collard, CEO of RTL Belgium.

“We believe that with this new advertising model we have found a balance that benefits everyone. In doing so, we are giving oxygen to the sector so that we can continue to offer our viewers the best local programs and series,” says John Porter, CEO of the telecom operator Telenet.

How it works ?

Concretely, as soon as the new advertising model is activated on their decoder, Telenet customers will receive free TV Replay for 7 days, included in their TV subscription. They will also not be able to ignore advertising in the replay program. The content of the program may be accelerated, but not the advertising spaces.

The update will be carried out automatically on the decoder and will also apply to viewing on a second screen. All affected customers will receive personal communication on this subject in the coming weeks, Telenet assures. They will also have a notification on their TV as soon as the changes begin.

In Flanders, the private media groups DPG and Play Media implemented this practice in 2021, first via Telenet then via Proximus.

A first step

This is a first step, insists RTL, and “all other market players support the model and are considering its implementation”. In a later phase, “all French-speaking television channels” will also follow, indicates the private media group.

On the RTBF side, however, we have not yet decided on the deployment of this model. “It’s a widespread movement in Flanders. We are informed of RTL’s decision and have no comment, at this stage, to give on an upcoming deployment on our side,” comments spokesperson Axelle Pollet.

At Proximus, we indicate “being in discussions” with RTL Belgium and not having any specific communications at the moment regarding other media groups.



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