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IRIS 1995-1:14/39

Belgium

A Second Channel for the Flemish Private Commercial Television Station V.T.M.

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Ad van Loon

European Audiovisual Observatory

The Flemish private commercial television, V.T.M. ( Vlaamse Televisie Maatschappij) has obtained a licence to start with a second channel. V.T.M. is regarded as an important instrument for the promotion of the audiovisual industry in the Flemish Community. The participation by Flemish newspapers and magazines within the commercial television organisation is formally organised and stimulated in order to help the press to survive and to protect media pluralism in the Flemish Community. At the same time, the "monopoly" of V.T.M. as the only private TV broadcaster for the Flemish Community, protected by an exclusivity licence, is under discussion. As a matter of fact, besides private regional TV-stations, payTV and television for specific target groups such as Children's TV and an Art channel, the Flemish Decree (a Statute) of 1987 only allows one license holder for a general private television for the Flemish Community.