Media company hopes to unload Tien content

LONDON — John de Mol’s Talpa Media is close to signing a deal to roll the content of its ailing free-to-air net Tien into the channels of Dutch commercial broadcaster RTL, Dutch daily Algemeen Dagblad reported Wednesday.

De Mol spokesman Thomas Notermans downplayed the media rumors, however, saying Talpa continued to talk to a number of potential partners over the future of its fledgling channel Tien.

According to the Algemeen Dagblad report out of Mip TV, Dutch premier league soccer highlights, currently shown on Tien, would move to RTL4 next season under the accord.

Other successful Tien offerings such as “Deal or No Deal” and the popular “Desperate Housewives”-style sitcom “Gooische Vrouwen” would also move over to RTL channels.

The report added that Tien would continue to exist under the guise of a RTL channel.

Talpa Media’s Radio 538, one of the most popular radio stations in the Netherlands, would also move into the RTL fold.

In return, De Mol is set to receive a 25%-30% stake in RTL, Algemeen Dagblad said.

Tien, which initially broadcast under the name Talpa, has failed to shine in Holland’s competitive free-to-air sector since its launch in August 2005.

Melanie Goodfellow

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