15 February 2007, Luxembourg
Press release also avaialble in FRENCH and GERMAN
Contract to run until end of 2020 - RTL Radio Télé Lëtzebuerg's public programming commitment renewed
Today the Luxembourg Government, RTL Group, CLT-UFA and Bertelsmann AG signed a new concession contract that will run until the end of 2020. The contract is the framework for the historical partnership that has developed over time between the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg and RTL Group. Under the terms of the contract the Luxembourg Government will continue to make internationally awarded television and radio frequencies available to CLT-UFA, a subsidiary of RTL Group. In return, CLT-UFA will continue to produce and finance a public TV programme for the Grand-Duchy. Part of the TV production costs will be refinanced through advertising revenue.
For the full term of the contract the headquarters of RTL Group, of CLT-UFA and those of its technical services provider, Broadcasting Center Europe (BCE), will remain in Luxembourg. RTL Group currently employs around 600 staff at its premises on Luxembourg's Kirchberg plateau.
The signature of the contract at the Luxembourg Prime Minister's office was attended by: Luxembourg Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Jean-Claude Juncker, Luxembourg Minister for Communications Jean-Louis Schiltz, Bertelsmann AG Chairman and CEO Gunter Thielen, RTL Group CEO Gerhard Zeiler, Chairman of the Board of CLT-UFA Jacques Santer, Bertelsmann CFO Thomas Rabe, RTL Group CFO Elmar Heggen and Managing Director RTL Lëtzebuerg Alain Berwick.
Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Jean-Claude Juncker said: "Over the past 75 years, RTL Group has developed into one of Europe's top media companies out of Luxembourg. Renewing the concession contract means that this success story will continue to remain closely associated with Luxembourg in the future".
RTL Group CEO Gerhard Zeiler said: "I would like to thank the Luxembourg Government for the highly constructive talks and for its unwavering support. By renewing the concession contract earlier than anticipated we are underlining a clear commitment to Luxembourg, the country we call home. I feel sure that RTL Group will carry on writing European broadcasting history from here and continue growing. Meanwhile, we will also continue to offer our viewers and listeners here in Luxembourg quality news and entertainment".
Gunter Thielen, Chairman and CEO of Bertelsmann AG, said: "Within just a few years, RTL Group has developed into the biggest contributor of revenues and earnings to Bertelsmann AG. Anchoring RTL Group in a place as internationally oriented as Luxembourg has been - and remains - a key factor behind the group's success in numerous European countries. I'm delighted with the agreement we have reached with the Luxembourg Government and feel confident that RTL Group will continue to build on its position as Europe's biggest TV, radio and TV production company".
Luxembourg Minister for Communications Jean-Louis Schiltz stated that: "RTL and Luxembourg continue to belong together. The new concession contract highlights just how attractive Luxembourg is as a location for media activities. At the same time, we have redefined the public broadcasting mandate of RTL Radio Télé Lëtzebuerg and thereby laid the foundations for future developments".
Bertelsmann AG is the majority shareholder in RTL Group, owning 89.8% of its capital. The remaining 10.2% is quoted on the Luxembourg and Brussels stock exchanges.