RTL Group

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RTL Group S.A.
Traded as FWBRRTL
Industry Mass media
Founded 11 May 1920; 98 years ago (1920-05-11)
(as Société Luxembourgeoise d'Études Radiophoniques)
30 May 1931; 86 years ago (1931-05-30)
(as the Compagnie Luxembourgeoise de Radiodiffusion)
5 July 2000; 17 years ago (2000-07-05)
(as RTL Group)
Headquarters Kirchberg, Luxembourg
Key people
Thomas Rabe (Chairman)
Anke Schäferkordt (Co-CEO)
Guillaume de Posch (Co-CEO)
Elmar Heggen (CFO)
Products Television, radio, broadcasting, cable and content production
Revenue Increase €6.237 billion (2016)[1]
Number of employees
~9,263 (2016)[2]
Parent Bertelsmann (75.1%)
Website www.rtlgroup.com

RTL Group is a European entertainment company. It has interests in 59 television and 31 radio stations in 10[3] countries, the Luxembourg-based media group operates TV channels and radio stations in Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Italy, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Hungary, Croatia and Asia as well as production companies throughout the world. It is majority-owned by German media conglomerate Bertelsmann, its shares are quoted on the Xetra stock exchange in Germany.

It is one of the world's leading producers of television content, such as game shows and soaps (particularly through its ownership of London-based FremantleMedia), including The X Factor, Pop Idol, Good Times, Bad Times, The Price Is Right, Family Feud and The Bill.

RTL originally stood for Radio Television Lëtzebuerg (in Luxemburgish), Radio Télévision Luxembourg (in French) or Radio Television Luxemburg (in German); with its English translation of the abbreviation as Radio [and] Television of Luxembourg.


The RTL Group began in 1924 with a single radio station operated from a private home in Luxembourg; in 1931 CLR or Compagnie Luxembourgeoise de Radiodiffusion, which operated Radio Luxembourg, was founded. CLR was one of 23 founding broadcasting organisations of the European Broadcasting Union in 1950. RTL Group is still an EBU-member under a previous name: CLT Multi Media; in 1954 it was renamed CLT or Compagnie Luxembourgeoise de Télédiffusion and started television broadcasts. In 1997 it merged with Hamburg-based UFA Film- und Fernseh-GmbH (successor to the pre-1945 UFA), a subsidiary of global media conglomerate Bertelsmann to create CLT-UFA. In 2000 it merged with Pearson TV and became RTL Group, as of January 2014, Bertelsmann owns a 75.1% stake in the publicly listed company.

One of the reasons for RTL's early success was that Luxembourg allowed commercial radio and TV stations long before other European countries, this flexibility enabled RTL to transmit to other countries (such as the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and the Netherlands) in their own languages. Many British radio presenters began their careers on Radio Luxembourg before moving to the BBC and to commercial broadcasters in the UK; in the 1970s, Radio Luxembourg's English-language audiences declined as a result of new music stations in the UK, and the service ceased broadcasting in the early 1990s on the Astra 1A satellite, often referred to as the Astra Satellite, as SES only operated one satellite originally. Radio Luxembourg relaunched in November 2005 and is currently available online at www.radioluxembourg.co.uk and on Digital Radio Mondiale. A sister station, Atlantic 252 was a long-wave radio station jointly run by RTL Group and Irish broadcaster RTÉ, it ceased broadcasting live on December 20, 2001.

RTL is a member of the Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV (HbbTV) consortium of broadcasting and Internet industry companies that is promoting and establishing an open European standard (called HbbTV) for hybrid set-top boxes for the reception of broadcast TV and broadband multimedia applications with a single user interface. RTL Television (Germany) has been operating HbbTV services since 2010.[4]

In August 2013, RTL announced a joint venture for the Asian market with CBS Corporation and the launch of two new TV channels. RTL CBS Entertainment was the first channel launched in September. Another channel, RTL CBS Extreme is announced for early 2014 and launched in March 2014, the joint venture operates under the newly founded RTL CBS Asia Entertainment Network.[5]

In 2014 RTL Group bought a controlling interest in StyleHaul, a YouTube fashion platform. RTL raised its stake in StyleHaul to 93.6% for $US107 million.[6]

Television stations[edit]

Former stations[edit]

Radio stations[edit]

Station followed by RTL's present share amount percentage.


RTL Radio Letzebuerg (100%)
RTL Radio die besten Hits Aller Zeiten UKW 93,3 und 97,0 (100%)
Eldoradio (74,8%)


RTL (100%)
RTL2 (100%)
Fun Radio (100%)


104.6 RTL (100%)
RTL Radio die besten Hits aller Zeiten (100%)
The Wave (German radio)[de] (100%)
Antenne Bayern (16%)
Radio Hamburg (29.17%)
Radio NRW (16.96%)
Radio 21 (17.3%)
Big FM (7.74%)
Radio Regenbogen (15.75%)
Radio Dresden (31.9%)
Radio Leipzig (31.9%)
Radio Chemnitz (31.9%)
Radio Lausitz (31.9%)
Radio Zwickau (31.9%)
Vogtland Radio (31.9%)
Hit radio RTL (30.5%)
Antenne Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (19.7%)
Radio Brocken (53.5%)
89.0 RTL (53.5%)
Antenne Thüringen (15%)
Radio Ton (2%)
BB Radio (unknown)
105'5 Spreeradio (33.8%)
Radio Top 40 (unknown)
Oldie 95 (4.78%)
Rock Antenne (16%)

Netherlands no radio activities (since march 2017)


Bel RTL (44,2%) (but operational control)
Radio Contact (Belgium) (44,2%) (but operational control)
Mint (44,2%) (but operational control)


Onda Cero (19.17%)
Europa FM (19.17%)
Melodía FM (19.17%)

Former stations[edit]


Technical Services[edit]

Located in Luxembourg, Broadcasting Center Europe is a European company providing technical services in the fields of TV, Radio, Telecommunications and IT. BCE was founded in January 2000 as a result of the merger of several technical entities of the RTL Group.


Located in Luxembourg, ENEX (or European News Exchange) is an association of leading commercial TV broadcasters around the world which share their news content and production resources.


  1. ^ RTL Group Full-year results 2016, p. 3. Retrieved 25 March 2017.
  2. ^ RTL Group Full-year results 2016, p. 52. Retrieved 25 March 2017. Calculated from 4,400 employees who make up 47.5% of the group's permanent workforce.
  3. ^ Rtlgroup :: About Us :: The Group :: Profile
  4. ^ Robert Briel. German RTL to support HbbTV. Broadband TV News August 27, 2009. Retrieved August 30, 2009
  5. ^ Roxborough, Scott (13 August 2013). "CBS, Europe's RTL Group Partner on Asian TV Channels". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 13 August 2013. 
  6. ^ "RTL takes control of YouTube fashion platform". Reuters. 4 November 2014. Retrieved 4 November 2014. 
  7. ^ "RTL Group sells UK broadcaster Five" (Press release). RTL Group. 23 July 2010. Retrieved 24 July 2010. 
  8. ^ "RTL-Reliance Broadcast terminate Big RTL Thrill joint venture". Indian Television Dot Com. 16 July 2014. Retrieved 26 March 2018. 
  9. ^ Frater, Patrick (15 July 2014). "RTL and Reliance ADA Halt TV Venture in India". Variety. 

External links[edit]