Telenet’s take-over of De Vijver Media including the Belgisn SBS channels has caused concern with Medialaan and public broadcaster VRT.
“Given the dominant position of Telenet on the Flemish cable market, this naturally causes us great concern,” said Peter Bossaert, CEO of Medialaan, the company the owns the VTM private channels.
“Vlaamse Regulator voor de Media (the Flemish Regulator for the Media) has recently warned of the risks of such concentration of power. Telenet is both judge and party in a market where as TV distributor they now not only have complete control over which channels and programmes Flemish viewers get to see, but as owners of De Vijver Media they have now the ability to give preferential treatment yo its own channels and content.
“We are counting on the relevant competition authorities, industry regulators and policy makers to seriously investigate this new situation and to take appropriate action to ensure a competitive playing field.”
Meanwhile, a public broadcaster VRT the reaction was a but more subdued, “The VRT also wants to work along with the other Flemish media players in good understanding, and with mutual respect to build a strong Flemish media sector,” a spokesperson told local press agency Belga.