Vlaamse Televisie Maatschappij (in English meaning the name of the channel: Flemish Television Company) is a private channel broadcast by Vlaamse Media Maatschappij (VMMa) for the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium. The headquarters of vtm and VMMa is Vilvoorde, a suburb of Brussels. The slogan is "VTM je beleeft het hier" (literally: VTM you experience it here). The station and the entire family of stations are owned by DPG Media.
vtm live went on the air in 1989, after the Flemish government legalized private television in 1987 through the cable decreet. This also stipulated that the final organizer of the program would initially have a monopoly. It was also stipulated that no terrestrial frequencies would be assigned to the new transmitter. Since Belgium already had a cabling density of over 90 percent at that time, this was not perceived as a burden by the new program organizers. In fact, until the beginning of 2006, vtm was only available on the Flemish and Brussels cable network. Since 2006, you can also watch the channel digitally via ASTRA via the offer of TV Vlaanderen. The VMMa also operates the streaming service Stievie, through which the stations of the VMMa can be watched live and on demand for free. Many of the shows can also be seen abroad, but you need a Belgian address to register and the apps for iOS and Android are only available in the Belgian stores.
In 1995, despite the monopoly, a second private channel started in the Flemish cable, VT4. In order to circumvent the monopoly, broadcasts were made from London under a British licence. It was only when the Flemish government realized that several private broadcasters could coexist with the public service system at the same time that a Belgian license was granted. In response, VMMa launched Ka2 (now 2BE), which was intended to be a commercial counterweight to the Canvas public service program, with an emphasis on educational programs and documentaries. The idea flopped and the channel started showing mainly popular American series and feature films as KANAALTWEE.
In March 2007, vtm was the first broadcaster in Flanders to broadcast a programme in HDTV format. In February 2008, a relaunch took place: the channel vtm received a new, more contemporary logo. Since then, the vtm kijk brand has been communicated in small letters. The station KANAALTWEE was renamed to 2BE (pronounced as "to be").
In the early days, market shares of over 40 percent were not uncommon. It should be noted that vtm broadcast virtually unrivaled: at that time, Flemish viewers only had a choice between two public-service programs, the public-service channels of the Netherlands or channels from other neighboring countries.
vtm live broadcast Idool, the Flemish version of Germany is looking for the superstar, among others. vtm is now the number 2 of the Flemish TV channels. After years that vtm spent unchallenged at number 1, the public broadcaster Eén (in German: Eins) recaptured the market for itself. The VMMa therefore likes to emphasize in its press releases that it is the most-watched channel group in Flanders with the vtm offshoots 2BE and JIM. The market share of vtm itself is currently between 20 and 25 percent.
A video from VTM's YouTube channel.