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Belgian streaming OTT JV Streamz greenlit for launch

Liberty Global-owned Belgian cable operator Telenet is now preparing the launch of its streaming JV with DPG Media after the venture secured approval from EC regulators.

The local streaming platform, Streamz, will feature content from Flemish and international providers and will launch in the autumn. The pair will set up a new Jv company under the Streamz name on September 1 with Telenet entertainment and streaming chief Peter Vindevogel as CEO and DPG Media CEO Kris Veraet as chairman.

Streamz is intended as a local alternative to international streaming giants. It will feature DPG Media’s content including Flemish fiction programming with Telenet’s local and international content including content from SBS, Woestijnvis and the operator’s Play service.

The new service will be offered in the Flemish part of Belgium where Telenet is based. The pair originally struck the JV deal in February.

Telenet and DPG Media – which was formerly known as Medialaan-De Persgroep Publishing and owns commercial channel VTM – together have an existing portfolio of television channels that are popular in Flanders, offering primarily homegrown programmes. The pair believe that by combining DPG Media’s Flemish drama programmes with Telenet’s local and international content from broadcaster SBS and production outfit Woestijnvis from its De Vijver Media acquisition, and Telenet’s Play offering, they will create an attractive offering for Flemish viewers.

Telenet currently serves more than 400,000 customers with its Play and Play More, offerings, which are currently only available to Telenet customers.

DPG Media, following the launch of the free platform VTM GO, has developed an up-to-date technology platform for its own paid streaming service. VTM GO’s content line-up includes international drama-focused SVOD service Walter Presents, which launched on it last April.

DPG Media and Telenet have said they are willing to collaborate with other Flemish content partners, such as VRT, to expand the new streamer’s content line-up.

John Porter, CEO of Telenet said: “At Telenet we are also pleased that the European Commission has given our initiative the green light. Together with DPG Media, we can now move ahead full force to write a new chapter in the Flemish and international media story. Streamz will feature local stories with a potential to conquer the world, and international stories that can conquer Flanders. In so doing, we give the viewer more choice than ever, and our Flemish television makers now also have an additional platform on which to showcase their creativity.”

Vindevogel said: “I’m really looking forward to making Streamz a success together with an enthusiastic team of employees, who are all specialists in their field. With the support of DPG Media, Telenet, and the entire Flemish media sector, we will turn it into a streaming service that belongs to all of us.”