Since 1950, dozens of newspaper titles disappeared in the process of concentration. The number of independent media firms shrank from 34 to only five. In Flanders, the market is controlled by three groups: Corelio Media, De Persgroep and Concentra. The French-language press is dominated by two groups: Rossel and IPM.
Three groups dominate the magazine market in Belgium. The largest is VNU/Sanoma. A dominant player in both Flanders and the French-speaking part of Belgium, it is owned by the Finnish group Sanoma. Until 2001, it was a daughter corporation of VNU, called Mediaxis. It has long had a monopoly on women’s magazines and also controls the majority of the television magazines.
Roularta, a Flemish publisher with aspirations across Belgium, is the second biggest player in the magazine market. Roularta has a monopoly on informative weeklies.
The third group that publishes magazines is De Persgroep. Besides a large market share in the newspaper market, the group also publishes television weeklies and lifestyle magazines.
The first radio stations in Belgium were formed during the 1920s and were private initiatives. This situation changed, however, with a 1930 law that founded the Public Service Broadcasting institution. It was financed by a licence fee from the start. Advertising was not allowed.
More changes were made in the decade that followed, resulting by 1998 in three different types of radio stations: local radio, city radio and regional radio. In the period that followed, the popular new network Radio Contact began. The year 2001 was big for private radio. Q-Music, owned by the VMMa (a national commercial broadcaster), and 4FM, owned by Think Media, were granted national broadcasting licences. Until that time, the public broadcaster had held sway over 85 percent of the market. In the years that followed, Q-Music acquired the 4FM license and the PSB saw its market share shrink to 61.2% in 2007.
Flanders (North) also has 11 regional TV stations, although some are struggling to survive. The oldest commercial television station in Flanders, the pay-tv provider Filmnet, has changed ownership several times. Since 2005 it has been part of the telecom provider Telenet, which changed the name to Prime.
The first private television broadcaster in Wallonia (South/French-Speaking) was RTL/TVI. It was granted its licence, which was originally to be valid for nine years, in 1987. Its owners are RTL (CLT) with 66 percent ownership, and Audiopresse, a co-operation of the Wallonian written press, with 34 percent. Since 1995, RTL/TVI has broadcasted Club RTL, which is aimed at French-speaking youth. In 2003, RTL started broadcasting PlugTV, which focuses on music and youth programmes.
Just like Flanders, Wallonia (South/French-Speaking) has 11 regional TV stations that are allowed to broadcast advertising. Part of their financing comes from state subsidies, however. The French media group Canal Plus started a pay-TV channel in 1989, Canal Plus Belgique. The Walloon PSB bought 26 percent of its original shares, which it managed to sell in 2000 to the French mother group for 20.6m euro. Later, the pay-TV provider became independent and changed its name to BeTV.
Providers in Belgium:
– United Telecom
Portugal is a democratic republic, with a Prime Minister as the head of state. Over the years, the country has had a slow, steady movement away from government controlled media and toward privatization throughout Portugal’s business sector. The Catholic Church as some sort of dominion when it comes to anything press related. They maintain a strong presence in local and regional press.
Portuguese citizens lived under repressive fascist regimes for more than five decades. With this new government, censorship was abolished. The current constitution guarantees free speech and absolute freedom of the press. Just like many other countries in Western Europe, the Portuguese get the majority of their news from Radio or Television. The illiteracy rate in Portugal is 15 percent.
Other groups that dominate the press in Portugal are:
- Great influence on the press sector
- Owns many well-known magazines and newspapers
- Property of the former prime-minister Francisco Balsemao.
- In the press, it owns: Expresso, Visao, Jornal de Letras, Exame, Telenovelas and half a dozen of specialized magazines.
- In television, it holds commercial channels and International channels
- Media Capital
- Very strong in the audiovisual sector
- Television and radio stations
- Owned by Belmiro de Azevedo, one of Portugal’s most notorious entrepreneurs, owns the daily newspaper Publico and holds assets in telecommunications and Internet
- Zon Multimedia
- A major player in the subscription television, cinema and audiovisual content production and distribution.
-Nederlandse Publieke Omroep: Dutch public broadcasting system.
-Radio, TV, Magazines, and Newspapers are characterized by a tradition of politico-denominational segregation on one hand, and by an increasing degree of commercialism on the other.
-The Netherlands Public Broadcasting system arose from a former practice known as “pillarization”.
-With financial assistance from the government, social and religious groups developed their own institutions, including broadcasting institutions.
-Two major Newspapers in the Netherlands: De Telegraaf(the largest paper) and PCM Uitgevers(owns several different newspapers).
-There is only one news-only radio channel in the Netherlands, and it is BNR(Business News Radio).
-Other channels are mostly music-radio channels targeted at younger audiences.
-There are two commercial broadcasters that are competing with each other in television: the German/Luxembourg RTL Group, and the USA-owned SBS Group.
-Dutch media law to “keep the state at a distance”, meaning that the public broadcasting groups are not directly operated by the government to regulate broadcasting.