On Monday, VRT CEO Frederik Delaplace will explain Streamz to the board of directors. He denied in The time that he left the council in the dark about participation in the platform. In his own words, he was misquoted by the newspaper.
From e-mail within the board of directors of the VRT, that The standard could look in, it appeared that the members had to learn from the press that the VRT is cooperating with Streamz, the streaming platform of DPG Media (VTM) and Telenet (Vier en Vijf). Disgruntled councilors thought it was a strategic decision, and that the council should have voted on it.
The leaked emails also include the agenda for Monday’s board meeting. Streamz is an item on the agenda, but it has the D for ‘discussion’ next to it, not the B for ‘decision’. Some councilors are still calling for a vote on the matter.
“Those are figs after Easter,” says a councilor. ‘But there will certainly be discussion, even if it is hopelessly too late. Perhaps we should clearly define the difference between a “strategic” and a “commercial” decision. The role of chairman Luc Van den Brande will certainly also be discussed. He was aware of the decision, but failed to inform his board of directors. I still don’t understand why. The council would certainly have approved the decision, as long as a number of preconditions were met, including guarantees for VRT.Nu. Did it have to go that fast? Or do the Minister of Media and the chairman of the Board of Directors, both CD&V members, think that they can arrange everything among themselves?
Luc Van den Brande did not want to respond, Benjamin Dalle strongly denies the allegation. He says he was informed by Delaplace of the agreement with Streamz.
That it had to go quickly, is already clear from a response from Delaplace in the weekend edition of The time, of which a fragment already appeared online on Friday. In it, he denies that the board of directors was not aware of the decision. ‘That is not correct, but I am not going to say much about it. The deal was not finalized until 24 hours before the press conference. That might have meant communication could have been better. ‘
That tight timing may also say something about the pressure Delaplace was under to bite. In any case, several councilors again categorically deny that they were aware. “Delaplace will indeed be able to give text and explanation on Monday,” said another councilor. “Why would councilors from different sides of the political spectrum lie about this?”
Delaplace initially chose not to respond to Friday The standard, but then in a short response late at night indicated that his words were in The time misinterpreted and that the board of directors was unaware.