German media company Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland will close down its international pay-TV channel RTL International on May 31, 2017, arguing that it had little chance against illegal streaming sites.
The channel which launched in January 2016 targeted the global community of German-speaking viewers and tourists with selected programmes from domestic TV channels RTL, VOX, RTL Nitro and n-tv.
RTL International can be received in HD quality via satellite, cable, IPTV and OTT in the USA, Canada, southern Africa, Australia and other regions as well as on cruise ships and worldwide as a live-stream through Android/iOS apps on tablets and smartphones and on the web.
“We sincerely regret the closure of this channel. Despite quickly having reached substantial distribution with RTL International, the number of subscribes has not developed in an equally positive way that would enable us to operate it as a financially profitable venture in the foreseeable future,” Stefan Sporn, Senior Vice President International Distribution, said in Cologne.
“First analyses clearly show that a major reason for this is the success of globally acting piracy platforms streaming the broadcast signals of many domestic German channels over the internet illegally and in many cases free-of-charge”, explained Sporn.
Following the closure of RTL International, RTL intends to provide content to Germans living abroad through OTT services in future. The possibilities in this area are currently being evaluated.