Bad news for John de Mol. While he is in a process to sell Talpa to RTL, his radio stations start to falter. “This is pretty bad for the RTL/Talpa deal.”

    © Talpa

    John de Mol missed the online boat: Talpa Network is hardly prepared for a future in which traditional, linear media are becoming smaller and smaller. His company has four linear TV channels (SBS 6, Net5, Veronica and SBS 9) and four linear radio channels (Radio 538, Radio 10, Sky Radio and Radio Veronica), but on demand very little for.

    Talpa Radio falters

    The media billionaire is therefore fortunate that RTL Nederland wants to take over his shop in exchange for 30 percent of the shares. But isn’t Talpa a bit overvalued now that the whole radio branch is also starting to falter? The four radio stations of Talpa are in danger of losing their FM frequencies next year.

    Talpa thought it would be safe for another three years with those FM frequencies, but radio station KINK is breaking open the radio market with its own hands. The station also wants an FM frequency and yesterday brought the state to its knees: there will be before September 1, 2023 a new FM auction. And it is therefore possible that Talpa will lose frequencies.

    ‘Radio Veronica out’

    The Talpa station Radio Veronica, which has recently been led by Rob Stenders, will soon no longer be heard on the FM, predicts radio expert Patrick Kicken at speaking tube. “It’s sour for Rob Stenders. You can already count on your fingers that Talpa is going to immediately sacrifice her only conditional lot to keep the good FM peace.”

    There are nine lots, or FM frequencies, to be divided. Four of these still belong to John de Mol. Some lots are subject to clauses, which means that, for example, only news or alternative music may be heard. That is the case with Radio Veronica. “So KINK will start broadcasting immediately. And maybe that’s a good thing.”

    Bloodied radio market

    Why is that good? “It’s crazy that De Mol hijacked the entire FM band. The result is a bled to death, boarded up radio market. In which radio makers and advertisers are left behind.”

    Not only KINK, but also Qmusic sister station ‘Joe 70s & 80s’ wants an FM frequency. Qmusic is owned by DPG Media. “It will be a battle between DPG and KINK to get their hands on the FM frequencies of Radio Veronica. Why special this package? Because it costs the least, since it is conditioned.”

    Journalist Mark Koster: “DPG vs Talpa now. Kink FM has opened the door to a possible coup by Van Thillo on De Mol’s radio stations. Talpa will have to bid on ‘own’ lots. Price will be higher than it is now.”

    Bad for RTL deal

    Is Talpa still interesting for RTL now that the radio branch is starting to falter? “I think it’s pretty bad for the RTL/Talpa deal,” tweets Jan-Willem Sanders, co-owner of the journalistic platform Follow the Money.

    Podcast maker Elger van der Wel then: “Certainly.”

    Talpa, meanwhile, says that there is nothing wrong: “The outcome of this ruling has no influence whatsoever on the progress of the intended merger. For the latter, only what ACM thinks about it is relevant.”