Under a new strategic plan approved by its board of directors in December, RTBF plans to wind down its FM and DVB-T signals over the next five years. RTBF is the public service broadcaster for Wallonia, the French-speaking half of Belgium.
The new five-year plan replaces the “Vision 2022” initiative RTBF adopted in 2016. The new plan places an emphasis on the digital transition, streaming, and younger audiences. According to reports in the French-language newspaper Le Soir, the RTBF board worked with consultancy Deloitte to plan for three scenarios: the migration of audiences away from traditional platforms, the difficulty of procuring original content, and increasing competition in a globalized media market.
As part of adapting to the expected changes, RTBF would shut down digital terrestrial television signals in favor of IPTV and migrate its FM services to DAB+ by 2027.
The latest IPSOS/maRaido.be survey found, as of year-end 2020, that 80 percent of people in French-speaking Belgium were familiar with DAB+ and some 20 percent of people use a DAB+ receiver. The same survey found that about half of all radio listening in Wallonia was done via a digital platform (DAB+, streaming or digital television).