RTL 4 logo
Launched 2 October 1989 (1989-10-02)
Network RTL Nederland (2004-present)
Holland Media Groep (1996-2004)
RTL 4 S.A. (1990-1996)
Owned by RTL Group
Picture format 576i 16:9 SDTV (PAL)
1080i HDTV
Audience share 14,6% (2014, [1])
Slogan "Natuurlijk bij RTL 4" (On RTL 4 of course)
Country Luxembourg
Broadcast area Netherlands
Headquarters Hilversum, Netherlands
Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
Formerly called RTL Véronique (1989-1990)
Sister channel(s) RTL 5
RTL Lounge
RTL Crime
RTL Telekids
Website www.rtl4.nl
Digitenne Channel 4 (SD)
DVB-T (FTA) (Luxembourg) 498 MHz (SD)
CanalDigitaal Channel 4 (HD)
Ziggo Channel 4 (HD)
Channel 928 (SD)
CAIW Channel 4
Kabel Noord Channel 4
KPN Channel 4
Tele2 Channel 4
Streaming media
Ziggo GO ZiggoGO.tv (Netherlands only)

RTL 4 (Radio Télévision Luxembourg 4) is a major commercial television station in the Netherlands. It is the most-watched commercial station in the country, popular especially with those aged between 20 and 49.[2] RTL 4 is a general entertainment channel with infotainment, television drama, talk shows, game shows, news and talent shows. It is owned by RTL Nederland, a subsidiary of RTL Group. The station has three sister TV channels: RTL 5, RTL 7 (previously Yorin) and RTL 8 (previously Tien / Talpa), and four thematic TV channels: RTL Z, RTL Lounge, RTL Crime and RTL Telekids.

From May 1991 until September 2006, the station has had several accompanying radio stations, such as RTL 4 Radio, RTL Radio, RTL Rock Radio, Happy RTL,[3] and RTL FM.[4] Between June 2007 and 1 January 2012 RTL Nederland owned Radio 538, one of the largest radio stations of the Netherlands.[5][6]

Officially RTL 4 - along with RTL 5, RTL 7 and RTL 8 - is headquartered in Luxembourg, broadcasting under a Luxembourg TV license. This allows them to avoid more strict control by the Dutch media authorities as Luxembourg's television watchdog is less strict.


It originally launched on the Astra 1A satellite as RTL Véronique on 2 October 1989,[7] before re-branding as RTL 4 (after 1, 2 and 3 were already used by the Netherlands' public broadcasters) the next year.[8] It was one of the first private commercial broadcaster in the Netherlands. Officially, it still broadcasts from Luxembourg. Private broadcasters were not allowed in the Netherlands until 1992.[9] The encryption system employed by both RTL 4 and 5 analogue services whilst on the Astra 1A and 1C satellites was Luxcrypt. This standard was employed (mainly on the English language programmes carried with Dutch subtitles) in order to protect the distribution rights sold by foreign studios to RTL.[10]

RTL 4 broadcasts the first and the longest soap of the Netherlands, Goede Tijden, Slechte Tijden since October 1, 1990.[11]

RTL 4's latest radical change of programming was on 18 August 2007 when RTL obtained the soccer rights (Eredivisie) but lost the rights to the NOS the following year. In 2008 RTL 4 went back to its roots as a family entertainment channel[12] with programmes such as Idols, X Factor, Dancing with the Stars and Dancing on Ice. That year RTL 4 also launched Ik Hou Van Holland, a quiz-show around and about the Netherlands with Linda De Mol.[13]

From 2009 the talent shows are playing a major role in the programming of RTL 4, the X-Factor has been re-scheduled successfully to Friday night with higher ratings in Season 2 (2009) and Season 3 (2010) on Fridays. In 2010, RTL 4 bought the rights for broadcasting Holland's Got Talent from SBS 6[14] and created together with pioneer John De Mol their own talent show The Voice of Holland in the Autumn of that same year.[15] The Voice of Holland became a huge hit on Dutch Television with ratings around 3 million viewers every Friday Night.[16] In 2012 yet another new talent show started, Beat the Best.[17]

RTL 4 also owns the rights for the soaps As the World Turns and The Bold and the Beautiful. In January 2007, RTL sold the rights for B&B to SBS6, but bought the rights back in December 2010. With more money and space to buy other TV shows, RTL 4 bought the rights for the first season of the successful drama show Brothers & Sisters[18] and took over CSI: Miami from sister channel RTL 5.[19]


Hits on RTL 4 include the RTL Nieuws, Editie NL, RTL Boulevard, Goede Tijden, Slechte Tijden and the Saturday night family show Ik Hou Van Holland. Talent shows are also very popular on RTL 4, such as Idols, X Factor, Holland's Got Talent, The Voice of Holland and Beat the Best. RTL 4 also owns the rights for American TV series.



Notable people


  1. "Maandrapporten tijdvakken". Stichting Kijk Onderzoek.
  2. "RTL 4". Kabelraden.nl. Retrieved November 25, 2012.
  3. "RTL Radio". Radiopedia.nl. Retrieved November 24, 2012.
  4. "RTL FM". Beeldengeluidwiki.nl. Retrieved November 24, 2012.
  5. Jarco Kriek (January 2, 2012). "Talpa weer eigenaar van Radio 538". Totaal TV.
  6. "Talpa koopt Radio 538 terug". NRC Handelsblad. July 28, 2011.
  7. "ASTRA Benelux leidt vakhandel de juiste weg en zet in op HD". SatelliteMagazine.com. Retrieved November 24, 2012.
  8. "RTL 4: Dé familiezender van Nederland". RTL Nederland. Retrieved November 24, 2012.
  9. Jan Auke Brink. "De commerciële doorbraak: Op de Nederlandse radio & televisie". Nationaal Historisch Museum. Retrieved November 24, 2012.
  10. "Codering RTL 5 wekt verzet". de Volkskrant. May 26, 1994.
  11. "Over GTST". gtstfanclub.nl. Retrieved November 24, 2012.
  12. "Bert Habets: 'RTL 4 wordt weer familiezender'". Mediacourant.nl. January 21, 2008.
  13. Marcel Frost (January 17, 2008). "Linda de Mol houdt van Holland". De Telegraaf.
  14. Marcel Frost (May 3, 2012). "Robert ten Brink nieuwe presentator Holland's Got Talent". Mediacourant.nl.
  15. Herman Roggeveen (August 17, 2010). "John de Mol: Kijker wordt uit stoel geblazen door The Voice". zappen.blog.nl.
  16. Jory Vijfschaft (September 22, 2012). "The Voice met dik 3 miljoen kijkers ver voor op concurrentie". Televizier.nl.
  17. "Weer nieuwe talentenshow RTL4, met Gordon en Chantal Janzen". Mediajournaal.nl. April 19, 2012.
  18. "Nieuwe kwaliteitsserie 'Brothers And Sisters' vanaf 4 april primetime bij RTL 4". RTL Nederland. February 2, 2007.
  19. "Misdaadserie CSI Miami verhuist naar RTL 4". Mediacourant.nl. April 17, 2007.

External links

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