The agreement that forms the basis of the collaboration between the VRT and Streamz, the new Flemish streaming service, has not been discussed with the audiovisual production sector and is moreover non-transparent and illegal. That says Flemish MP Katia Segers (SP.A) Thursday. She mentions “a clear violation to the letter and spirit of the media decree”.
In the context of the participation in Streamz, the public broadcaster makes part of its catalog available, while three new series that were made on behalf of the VRT can only be viewed in preview on Streamz. Katia Segers points out that the contracts that the VRT negotiated at the time for the series were drawn up when there was no Streamz yet. The fact that those series are now shown in preview online means that the production houses and actors are now missing out on a lot of income.
According to Segers, the precise collaboration between DPG Media and Telenet, as initiators of Streamz, and the VRT is not transparent. “This is fueling concern from many quarters that the linear VRT offering, but also the free streaming platform VRT Nu, is in danger of being eroded. It cannot be that the VRT offer, for which the Flemish already paid through his tax money, would disappear behind the paywall in preview and only be shown on VRT itself months later. ” According to her, the fact that the Fleming has to pay twice for the same series is contrary to the media decree.
VRT under pressure?
She calls the fact that the VRT series ‘Black-Out’ is shown in preview on Streamz while Telenet co-financed the series in the context of the obligation that distributors have to invest in local content. “The media decree clearly states that it is prohibited to show investment obligation series in preview and not in open net. So this is a clear violation of the letter and spirit of the media decree. ”
Segers says he can only think of one reason why the VRT shows “too much goodwill” to DPG Media and Telenet. “The VRT feels so rushed by the Minister of Media (Benjamin Dalle, CD&V, ed.), with whom the VRT is now negotiating a new management agreement? Or was the VRT put under pressure? ”