Potential buyers are lining up to acquire the local assets from SBS Broadcasting in both The Netherlands and Belgium. Among the interested parties are John de Mol and RTL.
Although it remains unclear if the Dutch and Belgian channels that are part of the SBS Group will be up for sale, there is no shortage of interest in buying them. This weekend, the current owners of the SBS channels, the ProSiebenSat.1 Group, announced they are looking to sell some of the international operations.
In The Netherlands, John de Mol, the Telegraaf Media Group (TMG) and De Persgroep are interested in acquiring the three Dutch SBS channels, SBS6, Net 5 and Veronica. When SBS was launched in The Netherlands, TMG was one of the original investors in the venture. As a result, at the moment, TMG holds a 6% interest in ProSiebenSat.1.
The Belgian Persgroep is a major shareholder in the Flemish commercial broadcaster VMMa (The Vlaamse Media Maatschappij (VMMa), is a 50/50 joint venture between Belgian publishers Roularta Media Group and De Persgroep), who runs the commercial channels VTM, Kanaaltwee, JimTV, vtmKzoom, Vitaya and Vitality. Acuqisition of the Dutch SBS channels would make sense.
Should John de Mol buy the SBS channels, this wpuld create an interesting situation as De Mol is also a 26% shareholder in RTL Nederland. He acquired this major stake in the Dutch RTL operation after selling its Talpa TV channel to RTL.
In Belgium, the RTL Group could be the interested party, as the broadcaster has no Flemish TV outlet. The Group already owns and operates the RTL-TVi channels in the French speaking part of the country with RTL-TVi, Club RTL and Plug RTL.