December 5, 2018 / 9:06 AM / 9 days ago

REFILE-RTL to ramp up investments in video on demand

(Clarifies nature of platform for streaming services in first paragraph)

FRANKFURT, Dec 5 (Reuters) - European broadcaster RTL Group said on Wednesday it would ramp up investments in video-on-demand (VOD), increasing output of local programming and developing a common technology platform for its national streaming services.

The platform will underpin RTL’s local broadcasters in Germany, France and the Netherlands, as the Luxembourg-based group pursues a standalone streaming strategy to meet the challenge of global players like Netflix.

“We have the strategic goal to build local streaming champions in the markets where we have strong families of channels,” CEO Bert Habets said in a statement after an internal strategy meeting.

“Given the high growth rates of paid subscribers of our German and Dutch VOD services – TV Now Plus and Videoland – we are getting more confident day by day that we will reach our ambitious plans.”

RTL’s go-it-alone strategy contrasts with German-based rival ProSiebenSat.1 Media’s decision to partner with Discovery Inc and German public broadcaster ZDF on the joint 7TV streaming project.

To attract subscribers, RTL said it would strengthen ties between its Fremantle production unit and its separate European TV outlets, while continuing to promote its output of drama series in main global markets.

RTL will spell out its VOD strategy when it announces annual results next March 14. (Reporting by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Mark Potter)

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