In terms of televisions per household, Belgium is a fairly large consumer of television – more than 98% of Belgian households have a TV set. The average Belgian watches about three and a half hours of television per day, and there are more than ten channels that receive more than a 5% share of total viewers. The nation itself is fragmented into a French-speaking part and a Dutch-speaking part, and television in Belgium follows suit: the most popular channels are completely different between the two languages. In French-speaking Belgium, the three most popular channels account for more than 50% of total viewership. In order, they are RTL-TVI, TF1, and La Une, owned by RTL Group, TF1 Group, and RTBF respectively. In the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium, the three most popular channels account for nearly 60% of all viewership: Eén, owned by VRT, vtm, owned by Vlaamse Media Maatschappij, and Canvas, also owned by VRT. The French-speaking part of Belgium watches more television overall.
Belgians are not major consumers of print news, even for a small European country. The most recent figures available show all of Belgium’s newspapers circulating at a rate of about 152 people per 1,000, and that number has likely fallen as Belgium follows a global trend of declining popularity for print news. The five most popular individual newspapers, by circulation, are Het Laatste Nieuws, Het Niewusblad, Het Belang van Limburg, Le Soir, and La Dernière Heure.
A recent survey found that 65% of Belgians tune into the radio around once per day, which is about 7 million people. A further 21%, or about 2.3 million people, tune in around once a week. Like print news (and like most first-world countries), Belgium’s radio stations are losing popularity to online sources. Belgian radio follows the rest of the nation in being fragmented across multiple languages, the most prominent being French and Dutch. Belgian radio is divided into public and private radio stations, and the public side has broadcasters for each official language. The French and Dutch broadcasters are Radio Télévision Belge Francophone and Vlaamse Radio- en Televisieomroeporganisatie, respectively. The most popular French stations from the public broadcaster are La Premiere and Classic 21, and the most popular Dutch stations are Radio 1 and Studio Brussel. Only a few radio stations from each language have national coverage: some French radio stations with national coverage are Bel RTL, Radio Contact, and Fun Radio, and the Dutch radio stations with national coverage are Qmusic, JOE, and Nostalgie.
The internet is very widely accessible in Belgium, about as much so as in the United States and just slightly less than France, and about 82% of Belgians are internet users. The most popular internet providers in Belgium are Proximus, Orange, Scarlet, and Telenet. Belgians use their wide access to the internet to access websites that are mostly recognizable to North Americans, the most popular being Google, YouTube, Facebook and Wikipedia. Notably, however, Het Laatste Nieuws’ (a major Belgian newspaper) online presence (hln.be) is the seventh-most popular website in Belgium. It is unusual for a news service to be that popular.
Out of Home Media
Clear Channel Belgium advertises Belgium as one of Europe’s larger markets for out of home media, and its out of home industry continues to grow while most other nations see a decline. Clear Channel and Outsight are the two most popular providers for out of home media.
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