With interests in 55 television channels and 29 radio stations, RTL Group is the leading European entertainment network. The Luxembourg-based company owns stakes in TV channels and radio stations in Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Spain, Hungary, Croatia and South East Asia. It is one of the world’s leading producers of television content: from talent and game shows to drama, daily soaps and telenovelas, including Idols, Got Talent, The X Factor, Good Times − Bad Times and Family Feud.
The roots of the company’s history date back to 1924, the year when Radio Luxembourg first went on air. Compagnie Luxembourgeoise de Radiodiffusion (CLR) was founded in 1931. As a European pioneer, the company broadcast a unique programme in several languages using the same frequency.
RTL Group itself was created in spring 2000 following the merger of Luxembourg-based CLT-UFA and the British content production company Pearson TV, owned by Britain’s Pearson PLC media group. CLT-UFA was created in 1997 when the shareholders of UFA (Bertelsmann) and the historic Compagnie Luxembourgeoise de Télédiffusion – CLT (Audiofina) merged their TV, radio and TV production businesses.
Bertelsmann has been the majority shareholder of RTL Group since July 2001. RTL Group’s shares are publicly traded on the regulated market (Prime Standard) of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange as well as the Brussels and Luxembourg stock exchanges. Since September 2013, RTL Group has been listed in the prestigious M-Dax stock index.
Television: RTL Group is Europe’s largest broadcaster. Each day, millions of viewers all over Europe watch RTL Group’s television channels, which include the families of channels clustered around the flagships RTL Television in Germany, M6 in France, RTL 4 in the Netherlands and RTL-TVI in Belgium. The Group also has broadcasting operations in Hungary (RTL Klub, RTL II plus six cable channels), Croatia (RTL Televizija, RTL 2, RTL Kockica), Luxembourg and interests in Atresmedia in Spain. In August 2013, RTL Group and CBS Studios International announced a new venture, RTL CBS Asia Entertainment Network, which currently operates two pay-TV channels across South East Asia: RTL CBS Entertainment HD and RTL CBS Extreme HD.
Radio: RTL Group’s radio stations reach millions of listeners each day. The Group’s flagship radio station is RTL Radio in France, and it also owns or has interests in stations in Germany (104.6 RTL, Antenne Bayern), Belgium (Bel RTL, Radio Contact), Spain (Onda Cero, Europa FM, Melodía FM) and Luxembourg (RTL Radio Lëtzebuerg).
RTL Group’s content production arm, FremantleMedia, is one of the largest creators, producers and distributors of television brands in the world. With operations in 29 countries, FremantleMedia creates over 10,000 hours of TV programming each year. The company also distributes more than 20,000 hours of content in over 200 territories.
RTL Group has become the leading European media company in online video and is ranked among the top five global players in online video thanks to the Group’s on-demand platforms and catch-up services, as well as to key investments in multi-channel networks such as BroadbandTV, StyleHaul and Divimove. In addition, FremantleMedia is YouTube’s biggest independent TV production partner, with more than 215 channels and over 20 million subscribers. Overall, the Group registered a total of 36.4 billion video views in 2014. Moreover, RTL Group has a majority shareholding in one of the world’s largest programmatic video advertising platforms, SpotX.