RTL 4 (Radio Télévision Luxembourg 4) is a Dutch free-to-air television channel; it is the most-watched commercial station in the country, popular especially with those aged between 20 and 49.[1] 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 and RTL 8, and four thematic TV channels: RTL Z, RTL Lounge, RTL Crime and RTL Telekids.

Launched2 October 1989 (1989-10-02)
NetworkRTL Nederland (2004-present)
Holland Media Groep (1996-2004)
RTL 4 S.A. (1990-1996)
Owned byRTL Group
Picture format1080i HDTV
(downscaled to 16:9 576i for the SDTV feed)
Audience share12.0% (2018, SKO)
Slogan"Natuurlijk bij RTL 4" (English: On RTL 4 of course)
Broadcast areaNetherlands
HeadquartersHilversum, Netherlands
Formerly calledRTL Véronique (1989-1990)
RTL4 Veronique (1990)
Sister channel(s)RTL 5
RTL Lounge
RTL Crime
RTL Telekids
DigitenneChannel 4 (HD)
DTT (Luxembourg)498 MHz (SD)
Canal DigitaalChannel 4 (HD)
JoyneChannel 4 (HD)
ZiggoChannel 4 (HD)
Channel 928 (SD)
CaiwayChannel 4 (HD)
DELTAChannel 4 (HD)
Kabel NoordChannel 4 (HD)
KPNChannel 4 (HD)
Tele2 NetherlandsChannel 4 (HD)
T-Mobile NetherlandsChannel 4 (HD)
Streaming media
Ziggo GOZiggoGO.tv (Europe only)
KPN iTV OnlineWatch live (Europe only)

Officially RTL 4 - along with RTL 5, RTL 7 and RTL 8 - is headquartered in Hilversum, 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. Despite being intended for Dutch audiences, RTL 4 is encrypted on the Dutch DVB-T Digitenne platform but free-to-air in Luxembourg.


It originally launched on the Astra 1A satellite as RTL Véronique on 2 October 1989,[2] before re-branding as RTL 4 the next year.[3] 1, 2 and 3 were already used by the Netherlands' public broadcasters. 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.[4] 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 in order to protect the distribution rights sold by foreign studios to RTL. [5]

RTL 4 broadcasts the first and the longest running soap of the Netherlands, Goede Tijden, Slechte Tijden (since 1 October 1990).[6]

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[7] 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.[8]

From 2009 the talent shows are playing a major role in the programming of RTL 4, the X-Factor has been rescheduled 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[9] and created together with pioneer John De Mol their own talent show The Voice of Holland in the Autumn of that same year.[10] The Voice of Holland became a huge hit on Dutch Television with ratings around 3 million viewers every Friday Night.[11] In 2012 yet another new talent show started, Beat the Best.[12]

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[13] and took over CSI: Miami from sister channel RTL 5.[14]

Television host Peter van der Vorst has been appointed Content and Marketing Director of RTL Nederland. He will start on 1 March 2019.[15]


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,[16] and RTL FM.[17] Between June 2007 and 1 January 2012 RTL Nederland owned Radio 538, one of the largest radio stations of the Netherlands.[18][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, Supernanny and The Voice of Holland. RTL 4 also owns the rights for American TV series.

As is the practice with other television and film services nationwide, programmes in another language as well as portions of local programmes with foreign language dialogue are carried with Dutch subtitles in lieu of dubbing.


  • 5 Uur Live (English: 5 o'clock Live)
  • De 12 van Oldenheim (English: The Oldenheim 12)
  • All You Need Is Love
  • BankGiro Miljonairs (Based on the British game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?)
  • Beau
  • Beste kijkers (English: Dear Viewers)
  • The Big Music Quiz (Dutch version of the Australian The Big Music Quiz)
  • Bouwval gezocht (Based on the British TV show Property Ladder)
  • Een dubbeltje op zijn kant (English: A Narrow Escape, a reality show in which people are helped with paying off their debts.)
  • Editie NL (English: NL Edition)
  • Eigen Huis & Tuin (English: Home & Garden)
  • Eén tegen 100
  • Expeditie Robinson
  • Familie Kruys (English: The Kruys Family)
  • Een goed stel hersens (English: A Good Brain)
  • Goede tijden, slechte tijden (English: Good Times, Bad Times, Soap series)
  • Help, mijn man is Klusser! (English: Help, My Husband Is a Handyman!, a reality show in which women are taken out of the mess created by their partner. The partners started to renovate their house, but did not finish it, leaving their wives in the mess.)
  • Het zijn net mensen (English: They Are Just Like People)
  • Holland's Got Talent
  • House Vision
  • Idols (revived on RTL 5 for the fifth series)
  • Judas (Dutch Crime drama TV series about Dutch criminal Willem Holleeder)
  • Koffietijd (English: Coffee Time)
  • Love is in the Air!
  • Married at First Sight
  • Meisje van Plezier (English: Lady of the Night)
  • Oh, Wat Een Jaar
  • Ontvoerd (English: Kidnapped)
  • Pauls nummer 1 show
  • Het Perfecte Plaatje (English: The Perfect Picture)
  • Praat Nederlands Met Me
  • Rooijakkers over de vloer
  • RTL Boulevard
  • RTL Late Night
  • RTL Nieuws (English: RTL News)
  • RTL Weer (English: RTL Weather)
  • RTL Woonmagazine
  • Telekids (1989-1999)
  • Uitstel van Executie
  • Van der Vorst ziet sterren
  • Verslaafd! (English: Addicted!)
  • The Voice of Holland
  • The Voice Kids
  • The Voice Senior
  • Weet Ik Veel
  • De Weg Naar Het Miljoen
  • Wie ben ik? (English: Who Am I?)
  • X Factor
  • Zomer met Art
  • De Zwakste Schakel (Based on the British game show The Weakest Link)

Imported series and shows currently shown

Imported series and shows previously shown

Children's shows previously shown

Notable television hosts

Former television hosts


RTL 4 offered a teletext service which stopped on 1 April 2017. The pages 888/889 are still available for subtitles.[20]


  1. "Jaarrapport 2018" (PDF). Stichting Kijk Onderzoek.
  2. "ASTRA Benelux leidt vakhandel de juiste weg en zet in op HD". SatelliteMagazine.com. Retrieved 24 November 2012.
  3. "RTL 4: Dé familiezender van Nederland". RTL Nederland. Retrieved 24 November 2012.
  4. Jan Auke Brink. "De commerciële doorbraak: Op de Nederlandse radio & televisie". Nationaal Historisch Museum. Retrieved 24 November 2012.
  5. "Codering RTL 5 wekt verzet". de Volkskrant. 26 May 1994.
  6. "Over GTST". gtstfanclub.nl. Retrieved 24 November 2012.
  7. "Bert Habets: 'RTL 4 wordt weer familiezender'". Mediacourant.nl. 21 January 2008.
  8. Marcel Frost (17 January 2008). "Linda de Mol houdt van Holland". De Telegraaf. Archived from the original on 20 June 2008.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  9. Marcel Frost (3 May 2012). "Robert ten Brink nieuwe presentator Holland's Got Talent". Mediacourant.nl.
  10. Herman Roggeveen (17 August 2010). "John de Mol: Kijker wordt uit stoel geblazen door The Voice". zappen.blog.nl.
  11. Jory Vijfschaft (22 September 2012). "The Voice met dik 3 miljoen kijkers ver voor op concurrentie". Televizier.nl.
  12. "Weer nieuwe talentenshow RTL4, met Gordon en Chantal Janzen". Mediajournaal.nl. 19 April 2012.
  13. "Nieuwe kwaliteitsserie 'Brothers And Sisters' vanaf 4 april primetime bij RTL 4". RTL Nederland. 2 February 2007.
  14. "Misdaadserie CSI Miami verhuist naar RTL 4". Mediacourant.nl. 17 April 2007.
  15. Robert Briel (12 February 2019). "RTL Nederland appoints Peter van der Vorst". BroadbandTVNews.com.
  16. "RTL Radio". Radiopedia.nl. Retrieved November 24, 2012.
  17. "RTL FM". Beeldengeluidwiki.nl. Retrieved November 24, 2012.
  18. Jarco Kriek (January 2, 2012). "Talpa weer eigenaar van Radio 538". Totaal TV.
  19. "Talpa koopt Radio 538 terug". NRC Handelsblad. July 28, 2011.
  20. "RTL".
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