Belgian RTBF plans closure of international channel Belgian RTBF plans closure of international channel

By Robert Briel
October 15, 2009 07.56 UK

The Belgian French language public broadcaster RTBF has said that in order to save money it will close its international channel RTBF Sat and replace it with a new service to be called RTBF La Trois (3).

However, the replacement channel will only be distributed nationally and no longer be available to an international audience. Until now, RTBF Sat was distributed unencrypted via the Eutelsat Hot Bird with a mix of programming from the two national channels. No date for the switch-off has been announced.

RTBF La Trois will concentrate on programming for young viewers and will also bring a selection of movies in their original version with subtitles in French. There will be no advertising on the new channel, which will be distributed via the DTT network, cable and IPTV platforms in the country. It seems likely that the Belgian French language DTH platform TeleSat will also acquire the distribution rights to the new channel.