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RTL plots European VoD service

Bert Habets at RTL Group’s Management Summit

Media giant RTL Group has unveiled plans to create a pan-European VoD service and has called on its broadcasters to work more closely with its production outfit, Fremantle.

RTL is planning to create a joint tech platform that will see streamers belonging to its broadcasters in France, Germany and the Netherlands – such as M6, RTL Television and RTL respectively – migrating to it.

The Luxembourg-based group already operates streamers including TV Now Plus in Germany and Videoland in the Netherlands, which will use the shared platform.

Detailed plans will be unveiled in March next year, but RTL added that it also wants Fremantle to work more closely with its sibling broadcasters to support the move.

The producer will also continue its push into high-end drama series in territories such as the US, Germany, the UK, Australia, Italy, France and the Nordics, RTL said following RTL Group’s Management Summit 2018.

Fremantle recently struck a first-look production deal with Natalie Dormer, star of its hit period drama Picnic at Hanging Rock, while its slate also includes The Young Pope and Aussie drama Wentworth.

Bert Habets, CEO of RTL Group, said “rapidly changing consumer behaviour and the emergence of global tech giants” had influenced the shift in strategy and created a move “from a local to a global competitive landscape.”

“This is why we have started a comprehensive, group-wide transformation journey. More than ever before, we will focus on fostering creativity, being close to our audiences, taking more risks and forging more cooperation within RTL Group.”

Habets said he wanted to “build local streaming champions in the markets where we have strong families of channels” and added that “higher investments into content production, creative storytelling and closer collaboration” would support the aim of creating more IP within RTL.

RTL Group’s broadcast assets include RTL Television in Germany, M6 in France, the RTL channels in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Croatia and Hungary, and Antena 3 in Spain.

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