RTL Television

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RTL Television
Station logo
RTL logo
General information
Reception: Digital: antenna , cable , satellite , live stream
Seat: Luxembourg , Luxembourg (1984–1987) Cologne , Germany (since 1988) LuxembourgLuxembourg 

Language: German
Owner: RTL Group
Resolution: 576i ( SDTV )
1080i ( HDTV )
1080p ( HDTV )
2160p ( UHD )
Executive Director: Jörg Graf
Start of broadcast: January 2, 1984 (as RTL plus)
Legal form: Private law
Program type: Full program
Market share: 8.4% (from 3 years)
12.1% (14–49 years) (2019)
Website: www.rtl.de
List of TV channels
The Rheinhallen in Cologne-Deutz  - the current location of RTL
OB van during the 2010 Oder flood in Frankfurt / Oder
Cologne Exhibition Tower with RTL advertising
Directed by the station, here at the broadcast of "Punkt 12".

RTL Television , RTL for short (derived from Radio Télévision Luxembourg ), is a German-speaking private broadcaster of the RTL Group based in Cologne . It was created as an offshoot of the German-language radio program Radio Luxemburg . For this reason, there was still the additional station plus in the first few years . RTL Television applies in Germany as full program after the 2nd Broadcasting Treaty and has to outsource the news and technology about 500 permanent employees (as of August 2010).


Chronicle until 1992

Private television began operating in the Federal Republic of Germany on January 1, 1984 with the Ludwigshafen cable pilot project, which was scheduled to run for two years . It was the hour of birth of PKS (later: Sat.1 ). One day later, from 5:27 p.m., RTL plus, which was then broadcast from Luxembourg and named after the Luxembourg radio and television broadcaster RTL (derived from Radio Télévision Lëtzebuerg, see also RTL Télé Lëtzebuerg ), began its German-language program. The unusual start of the broadcast took place in the Villa Louvigny with the following game scene: Head physician Rainer Holbe gave birth to a television with his obstetricians in a delivery room , on which the RTL plus logo could be seen. The broadcast times were Monday to Friday from 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. and Saturday to Sunday from 5:30 p.m. to midnight. The first RTL broadcast after the start was the news show 7 to 7 with Hans Meiser and Geert Müller-Gerbes .

In contrast to PKS / Sat.1, RTL plus could be received via the house antenna right from the start - albeit only from a small audience of around 200,000 households who were able to receive VHF channel 7 broadcast by the Dudelange from Dudelange in Luxembourg. From 1985, RTL plus broadcast via the ECS-1 satellite (Eutelsat I-F1) . On May 14, 1986, the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung (WAZ) got a 10 percent share in RTL plus. In addition, the holding Compagnie Luxembourgeoise de Télédiffusion (CLT) 50% and the Bertelsmann AG 40%. At the beginning of 1986 RTL plus could be received by around 1.25 million households in the Federal Republic of Germany.

What was already running successfully on Radio Luxemburg was also shown on RTL plus television from September 23, 1987: Guten Morgen Deutschland , with Nic Jacob among others . The program started at 6:30 a.m. on weekdays.

Since RTL plus broadcast under a Luxembourg license until 1988, the program Hei Elei - Kuck Elei, a kind of news magazine, was broadcast in Luxembourgish . In 1987 the advertising revenues amounted to around 60 million DM with total costs of 130 million DM. In the same year the new program type " Breakfast TV " was introduced. On January 1, 1988, RTL plus moved from Luxembourg to Cologne and a branch was established in Munich. The state of North Rhine-Westphalia approved a first frequency with which the station, according to its own information, could reach around 5.4 million households in the Federal Republic in mid-1988. The granting of this terrestrial broadcast license was tied to the regular broadcasting of window programs, which have since been produced by independent providers such as dctp , and until 1998 also Kanal 4 , with their own editorial responsibility. The viewers can recognize the window programs by the fact that the RTL station logo is hidden or the name of the window program provider or the program name is added. On April 5, 1988, the main news 7 to 7 was renamed RTL aktuell . RTL-plus boss Helmut Thoma told the TV magazine TV Spielfilm :

“The Luxembourgers are reluctant to let us go. But otherwise we don't get any frequencies. What speaks in favor of Cologne is that the transmission lines are already in place here because of the WDR . "

From April 1988, RTL plus began with in-house productions in order to improve the attractiveness of the program and to increase the daily duty cycle. According to the Gesellschaft für Konsumforschung, the daily service time of RTL plus in 1987 was 24 minutes, while the private competitor channel Sat.1 was able to reach 46 minutes. In addition to the new in-house productions of the station, there was also the first German cake show Everything nothing right ?! , presented by the opposing moderator duo Hugo Egon Balder and Hella von Sinnen . A prominent guest was always invited and played with. The loser got pies in the face in the end . In 1988 Edmund Stoiber declared in writing to Franz Josef Strauss “our policy with regard to RTL-plus was always aimed at securing a connection between RTL and the conservative camp or preventing it from sliding to the left”.

On January 5, 1989, the controversy show Explosiv - The hot chair with the moderators Olaf Kracht and Ulrich Meyer was added to the program. From 1989 on, RTL plus was broadcast analogue via the satellites Astra 1A , DFS-Kopernikus and TV-SAT 2 in D2-MAC .

On January 21, 1990, the first episode of Tutti Frutti ran . The wife of RTL-plus boss Thoma gave the erotic game show her name. Björn-Hergen Schimpf was originally supposed to lead the show - but his wife vetoed it. Eventually Hugo Egon Balder took over the job. Tutti Frutti became a ratings success for RTL plus on late Sunday evening (or Friday or Saturday evening).

On January 31, 1990, the Mini Playback Show , hosted by Marijke Amado , started with its first episode, in which children can imitate their favorite stars. The guests on the jury included Roberto Blanco , Heidi Brühl and Hansi Kraus .

In the summer of 1990 RTL plus toured the GDR and offered a colorful show. Harry Wijnvoord , Martina Menningen and Hugo Egon Balder were among them . The hottest attraction for the male audience was undisputedly the performance of the Cin-Cin ballet by Tutti Frutti. From December 1991 onwards, RTL plus broadcast around the clock, to the regret for RTL radio listeners at the time, who now had to do without their RTL radio program, which always ran in the background during the broadcast break.

On November 1, 1992, the plus was deleted from the station name and replaced by the mostly unnamed television . The plus was to be clearly separated from the radio program Radio Luxemburg, but this was no longer necessary in the early 1990s due to the now great success with the audience. The symbols (yellow pyramid, red cube, blue ball) were still visible. Previously, RTL plus separated from its announcers .

On November 15, 1992, the program A Day Like No Other - RTL plus's oldest travel quiz - celebrated its 400th edition. The first episode with Thomas Wilsch and candidates ran by phone on the first day of RTL plus broadcast. After 200 broadcasts, Werner Schulze-Erdel took over the broadcast for 9 months . From 1989, Susanne Kronzucker and Björn-Hergen Schimpf moderated together with Karlchen . Susanne Kronzucker left the station in the fall of 1991 because of her studies in New York - Schimpf stayed with the show until 1993, now the presenter of the sports program Anpfiff Uli Potofski took over the travel quiz until ETWKA was canceled in the same year.

Logo of RTL Regional

In addition, RTL broadcasts regional window programs for the federal states of Bremen , Lower Saxony , Hamburg , Schleswig-Holstein , Hesse and North Rhine-Westphalia from Monday to Friday at 6 p.m. , which are collectively referred to as RTL Regional . In Bavaria , as well as in parts of Rhineland-Palatinate and Baden-Württemberg , independent local stations also broadcast regional programs as windows on RTL at the same time. In the main program, which is broadcast via satellite and in areas without regional windows, Explosiv - Das Magazin is broadcast during this time . On Saturdays there is another regional window program for Bavaria with TV Bayern Live . In the HD offers of RTL and via satellite reception, regional programs are currently not broadcast.

Development from 1993

RTL reporter in Eilenburg
KRTL logo (1995-2007)

After initial difficulties, RTL managed to assert itself in the late 1980s. In 1993 RTL had its highest market share to date; in the same year the station also became the market leader for the first time (and was the largest advertising medium in Europe). It stayed that way until 1997. In 1999 and from 2001 to 2003 the station became the market leader. In the following years, however, the station was unable to maintain its leading market position and continuously lost its audience favor. In 2006, RTL ranked fourth behind the first , ZDF and third programs . RTL was only able to maintain its market leadership in the so-called advertising - relevant target group of 14–49 year olds. From December 2006 until it was discontinued in 2009, RTL broadcast additional information on the current program via blucom .

In addition to the previous analogue and digital programming, RTL also operates the four themed channels RTL Crime , RTL Living and Passion and Geo Television , which can be received for a fee via cable and satellite. In addition, since November 1, 2009, RTL has been offering its program in high definition via the fee-based HD + platform operated by the satellite operator SES Astra . Since the beginning of 2010, the high-resolution programs can also be received via some cable networks.

RTL stopped digital broadcasting with Swiss advertising windows, RTL CH, via the Hot Bird 13.0 ° East satellite on January 1, 2007, but broadcasting was resumed at the beginning of 2008. During the 2010 World Cup , temporary encryption was activated, which was deactivated again after the World Cup. RTL CH can no longer be received via Hotbird, but only via Astra 19.2 ° East. The program could only be viewed via cable television ( DVB-C ) for a digital fee, but this was prohibited from 3 April 2013 by the Federal Cartel Office for SD channels. The program in the Leipzig and Stuttgart regions was provided with basic encryption via DVB-T until December 31, 2014 via the Viseo + platform, but offered free of charge.

With the RTLnow platform , part of the program is also made available on the Internet. The most popular series are free there for up to seven days after they have been broadcast on television. After that they are chargeable. Some are also basically free. Some are chargeable from the start and can be viewed for 24 hours against payment.

From 28 November 1995 to 2007 RTL always sent from 5:30 am to 10 pm, the children format KRTL ( K inthe RTL ).

In 2009 RTL celebrated its 25th anniversary , on the occasion of which the station logo was framed by the addition “25 years” in January. The broadcaster also paid tribute to his 25th anniversary with a two-part anniversary show hosted by Oliver Geissen .

In 2010, RTL was able to regain its position as market leader before Erste and ZDF.

Since June 13, 2013, RTL can also be received via the online streaming service Zattoo in addition to the other channels in the RTL Mediengruppe Deutschland . The programs were activated in the afternoon.

In October 2014, the German RTL Group expanded with the fashion - Blog blogwalk.de that the VOX format Shopping Queen is linked, their presence on the Internet.

On March 16, 2016 it was announced that the RTL Mediengruppe is planning to start a new channel under the name "RTLplus" from June 4, 2016. In addition to repetitions of old docu-soaps, court shows and series are to be broadcast on this. In addition, the media group is planning to produce new episodes of old game shows such as Family Duel and Jeopardy! . Women over 45 were named as the target group, which means that the station competes with Sat.1 Gold .

On April 25, 2018, HD Plus GmbH announced that from April 28, 2018, the RTL UHD channel will be exclusively available on the platform of the same name. The Formula 1 races and the finale of the 15th season of Deutschland sucht den Superstar are to be broadcast on Ultra High Definition Television (UHD). The DSDS finale should also be shown in HDR (high color depth or dynamic). This station can initially only be received until the end of 2018; Notice boards can be seen outside the broadcasts.

Market shares (viewers aged three and over)

The average age of the audience in 2012 was 47 years. In March 2013, the station therefore expanded the advertising-relevant target group from 49 to 59 years. When developing the audience shares, it must be taken into account that they not only reflect the acceptance of the program, but v. a. In the early years, there was also limited availability, as the cable television networks were still being set up, a fee was charged for direct satellite reception in Germany and private television was only gradually permitted in the German-speaking area.

  • 1985: 00.4%
  • 1986: 00.7%
  • 1987: 01.2%
  • 1988: 04.1%
  • 1989: 10.0%
  • 1990: 11.5%
  • 1991: 14.4%
  • 1992: 16.7%
  • 1993: 18.9%
  • 1994: 17.5%
  • 1995: 17.6%
  • 1996: 17.0%
  • 1997: 16.1%
  • 1998: 15.1%
  • 1999: 14.8%
  • 2000: 14.3%
  • 2001: 14.8%
  • 2002: 14.6%
  • 2003: 14.9%
  • 2004: 13.8%
  • 2005: 13.2%
  • 2006: 12.8%
  • 2007: 12.5%
  • 2008: 11.8%
  • 2009: 12.5%
  • 2010: 13.6%
  • 2011: 14.1%
  • 2012: 12.3%
  • 2013: 11.3%
  • 2014: 10.3%
  • 2015: 9.9%
  • 2016: 9.8%
  • 2017: 9.2%
  • 2018: 8.3%
  • 2019: 8.0%

Personal details

Anke Schäferkordt was Managing Director of RTL Television from September 1, 2005 to February 1, 2013 . The former managing director of the RTL subsidiary station VOX replaced Gerhard Zeiler , who concentrated on managing the RTL Group . Schäferkordt has been his deputy at RTL Television since February 2005. Zeiler took over the management of RTL on November 1, 1998. In between - from November 2004 to February 2005 - the former program director Marc Conrad managed the company. Since the end of 2005, Anke Schäferkordt had also taken over the program management from Frank Berners .

Ingrid M. Haas was the information director from November 1, 2004 to December 31, 2005 ; On the same day, founding member Adam Musialik , who had been Head of Production and Technology until then, left the company. Both positions have been vacant since then. The editor-in-chief is Peter Kloeppel , who is also the chief presenter of the main news program RTL aktuell . On July 30, 2014, Kloeppel announced his resignation from the position of RTL editor-in-chief. However , he remains chief presenter at RTL currently . Michael Wulf has been the managing editor-in-chief since November 1st, 2004 . Information director and editor-in-chief of RTL was from May 1994 to October 2004 Hans Mahr .

executive Director

  • 1984 to October 31, 1998: Helmut Thoma ( first from 1984 director of RTL plus, from 1986 spokesman for the management of RTL plus Deutschland Fernsehen GmbH & Co. KG., Thoma initially held this position together with Staake (see below), and later then alone )
  • Mid-1980s to March 1991: Erich Staake ( together with Thoma )
  • November 1, 1998 to October 31, 2004 and February 17, 2005 to September 1, 2005: Gerhard Zeiler
  • November 1, 2004 to February 17, 2005: Marc Conrad
  • September 1, 2005 to February 1, 2013: Anke Schäferkordt
  • February 1, 2013 to February 1, 2019: Frank Hoffmann
  • since February 1, 2019: Jörg Graf


  • October 1984 to the end of 1986: Egon F. Freiheit
  • 1986–1988: Volker Kösters
  • October 1, 1988 to February 7, 1994: Dieter Lesche
  • May 2, 1994 to October 31, 2004: Hans Mahr
  • November 1, 2004 to July 31, 2014: Peter Kloeppel
  • since August 1, 2014: Michael Wulf


RTL in Junkersdorf

The first location of the transmitter was since January 1988 Cologne-Junkersdorf ( Aachener Strasse 1044 ). On June 7, 2010, the RTL Mediengruppe moved the joint broadcasting center from Junkersdorf (on the left bank of the Rhine) to the right bank of the Rhine in Cologne-Deutz . A part of the former exhibition grounds was converted there for RTL . The move to the clinker brick-built (and partly listed) old exhibition building directly on the Rhine , which was once built at the instigation of Konrad Adenauer , was planned for autumn 2009, but was not implemented until June 2010. In mid-September 2010 RTL put the new broadcasting center in Cologne-Deutz into operation. In addition, the Cologne-based broadcasters belonging to the RTL Group, such as VOX and n-tv, as well as some other companies belonging to the group, such as IP Deutschland , moved to the new central location. The RTL programs Extra - Das RTL-Magazin , Explosiv - Das Magazin , Exclusiv - Das Starmagazin and RTL aktuell have been produced in the new location since June 2010. The majority of the shows running on RTL are produced in or near Cologne, for example in Hürth ( Magic Media Company Campus Hürth) or in Cologne-Ossendorf (Magic Media Company Coloneum ).

Capital studio on Schiffbauerdamm in Berlin

In addition to its headquarters in Cologne, RTL has other studios, including since May 2000 in the government district in Berlin . Other external studios are located in Munich , Frankfurt am Main , Essen , Bremen , Hamburg , Hanover , Kiel , Kassel , Ludwigsburg (near Stuttgart), Mannheim and Leipzig . In its reporting, RTL uses its own correspondents in the studios abroad in New York , Brussels , London , Paris , Jerusalem , Beijing and Moscow .

Journalism school

In January 2001, the traineeships at RTL Television were absorbed in the company's own journalism school . Since then, training to become a television editor has been carried out in various parts of the training at the RTL school and in practical phases in editorial offices inside and outside RTL.

The training comprises a total of 24 months:

  • Six months at the journalism school in Cologne
  • 13½ months in editorial offices at RTL (nationwide)
  • Four and a half months in elective stations (nationwide and worldwide)

Station logos

Corner logo

The RTL logo has hardly been changed since 1992, only a glass effect was introduced or the logo was changed so that it appears more spatial. The colors of the logo (red R, yellow or orange T, blue L) have not been changed since 1988.

The corner logo has been in shades of gray and transparent edges since 1988. An exception to this is July 14, 2014 , when the logo was kept in the colors of the German flag , as recognition of the German national soccer team's 4th world championship title at the 2014 World Cup . From midnight the R was black, the T was red and the L was yellow for 24 hours.

Since September 1, 2017, RTL has had a new look. The logo received a marginal update.

SD version
HD version


RTL series Die Trixxer (2011)


In 2010 and 2011, the station was repeatedly criticized in the media for presenting several of its formats as actual documentaries, when in reality they were scripted reality . The authenticity and truthfulness of some formats were also massively questioned. Furthermore, a contribution that ran on the RTL format Explosiv - Das Magazin and was about gamescom in Cologne caused outrage, especially on the Internet. This was particularly evident on the YouTube video platform , where a recording of this post could be found. There was virtually no coverage of gamescom itself. Instead, the visitors were clichéd portrayed as unsocial, unkempt and sometimes foul-smelling creatures. RTL has now blocked the relevant contribution, but further copies can still be found. A brief comment followed during a later issue of Explosiv .

Since 2007, Holger Kreymeier has also been reporting critically about RTL's programming in the form of video clips on his website Fernsehkritik-TV . In these he also conducts interviews with actors from so-called scripted reality shows such as Die Super Nanny or Mitten im Leben , in which the protagonists express themselves extremely negatively towards the shooting methods of the production companies.

At the end of 2014, after the broadcast "Kontaktversuch:‚ Lügenpresse 'meets Pegida "of the NDR television magazine Panorama , it became public that one of the interviewees was an undercover RTL reporter. The following note was added to the broadcast page: “One of the interviewees is an undercover RTL reporter, as Panorama only found out after the shooting.” The incident was heavily criticized across Germany and the collaboration between the reporter and RTL ended .

Zeit Online criticized RTL 2015 as a "lower class television" with an "irresponsible Ballermannbespaßung, which twisted the lie structurally into a fact and at best doses objectivity homeopathically."

In June 2016, RTL showed revenge pornography photos in the evening program for entertainment purposes without the consent or anonymization of the then minor victim.

Web links

Commons : RTL Television  - Collection of Images
 Wikinews: Category: RTL  - in the news

Individual evidence

  1. RTL was the biggest winner in 2019, Kabel Eins overtook RTLzwei . In: DWDL.de . January 1, 2020. Accessed February 22, 2020.
  2. RTLplus becomes RTL / call on August 18, 2010
  3. Fit for the future of information - Tagesspiegel report / call on August 18, 2010
  4. 35 RTL employees fall victim to outsourcing - report at Werben & Sell / appeal on August 18, 2010
  5. Frankfurter Rundschau, quoted from Rückspiegel quotes . In: Der Spiegel . No. 44 , 1988, pp. 326 ( online ).
  6. ↑ Broadcast dates
  7. Alexander Rösch: RTL confirms: high-definition programs exclusively via Astras “HD +”. RTL-HD and Vox-HD initially not in the cable. In: satundkabel.magnus.de. Cybermedia Verlagsgesellschaft mbH, June 5, 2009, archived from the original on July 9, 2009 ; Retrieved July 18, 2015 .
  8. Sebastian Dohrmann: RTL CH on Hotbird again FTA. Mysnip forum platform, May 6, 2008, accessed July 18, 2015 .
  9. ^ RTL Switzerland: Chronicle of the satellite transmission. In: Kingofsat.net. Retrieved July 18, 2015 .
  10. RTL unites dozens of bloggers to form a fashion portal. ( Memento from November 29, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) In: Berliner Morgenpost. October 13, 2014.
  11. Shopping Queen's blog on BLOGWALK.de ( memento of the original from November 14, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , BLOGWALK.de, November 20, 2014 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.blogwalk.de
  12. RTLplus: New RTL broadcaster brings old shows to life. March 17, 2016, accessed March 18, 2016 .
  13. New channel: RTLplus wants to reach the best agers. In: DWDL.de . March 16, 2016, accessed March 18, 2016 .
  14. HD + expands UHD offer with "RTL UHD". April 25, 2018. Retrieved April 27, 2018 .
  15. Hans-Peter Siebenhaar : The big switch . In: Handelsblatt . No. 27 , February 7, 2013, ISSN  0017-7296 , p. 1 .
  16. "Peter Kloeppel listens as editor-in-chief" SPIEGEL online, accessed on July 31, 2014
  17. Welt.de: Peter Kloeppel is retiring as RTL editor-in-chief
  19. RTL move is delayed. July 28, 2009. Retrieved November 29, 2017 .
  20. Relocation: RTL starts on Saturday from Deutz / call on August 18, 2010
  21. a b c dpa: RTL move almost done - new broadcasting center. newsroom.de, September 14, 2010, archived from the original on September 22, 2010 ; Retrieved July 18, 2015 .
  22. New look: RTL relaunch at the start of the TV season
  23. cf. z. B. "Schummerl-TV - watch out TV fakers: The network brings it to light", June 1, 2010, dwdl.de
  24. "Contradictions in production - RTL withdraws 'Unterm Hammer'", May 21, 2010, spiegel.de
  25. ^ "Millionaire with a fake villa - irritation about RTL series", February 18, 2010, Hamburger Abendblatt
  26. "Das Lügenfernsehen", July 7, 2011, TV program "panorama"
  27. RTL and Gamescom, requested on March 12, 2014
  28. cf. z. B. September 26, 2011, fernsehkritik.tv
  29. ^ Michael Hanfeld: False Pegida demonstrator. RTL throws reporters out. . In: FAZ of December 21, 2014.
  30. Jan Friday: Farewell to errors , in: Zeit Online from June 6, 2015, accessed on June 6, 2015
  31. Virginia Kirst: RTL shows revenge pornography at prime time . welt.de from July 5, 2016, accessed on July 27, 2017.

Coordinates: 50 ° 56 ′ 40.9 ″  N , 6 ° 58 ′ 16.9 ″  E