Whether or not other Flemish broadcasters will participate is not yet clear. Credit: De bende van Jan De Lichte
DPG Media, the company above the commercial Flemish television channels VTM and Q2, will launch a paying streaming service, “a Flemish Netflix” in 2020.
The Flemish Netflix does not yet have a name, a starting date or a price, but the aim is to launch the service before the end of 2020.
The platform will offer Belgian as well as international series and movies, among which “De bende van Jan De Lichte”, a series based on the historical novel of the Belgian writer Louis Paul Boon, that VTM has had in store for several years, and was saving for the launch of the Flemish streaming platform.
Whether or not other Flemish broadcasters will participate is not yet clear, but the goal is to collect Flemish fiction on one paid platform. It has to generate new income in times when an increasing number of people no longer watch live, and then skip the advertisements, causing (commercial) broadcasters to lose income.
“It is a risky undertaking, but it is an illusion to think that without a paying platform we can continue to create what we are creating now,” said Dirk Lodewijcks, the general director for TV, radio and streaming at DPG Media, reports VRT. “Let’s not allow international players to take away that what we have built up in Flanders, namely good fiction,” he added.
“We are open to cooperation,” said Isabelle Geeraerts, a spokesperson for Telenet, reports Het Nieuwsblad. “But it has to be a win-win situation,” she added.
Telenet already has the ‘Play’ and ‘Play More’ offers, which are mainly known for their HBO catalogue, and first screenings of Flemish fiction series. Both packages together have 416,700 subscribers.