RTL Group companies help raise more than EUR 45 million for victims of Haiti earthquake

Luxembourg, 22 January 2010 - Shortly after a severe earthquake hit Haiti on 12 January 2010, RTL Group’s TV channels and radio stations throughout Europe began calling on their viewers and listeners to donate funds to help the victims of the disaster - via extensive news coverage, big charity shows, special trailer campaigns and on their numerous websites. As of today, RTL Group companies have helped to raise more than EUR 45 million for emergency and long-term relief.

Gerhard Zeiler, CEO of RTL Group, said: “Creating attention and collecting donations to help people in need has a long tradition throughout our operations. The popularity of TV and radio comes with great responsibility. And our broadcasters and programme managers take this responsibility very seriously. I’d like to say a big ‘thank you’ to our viewers and listeners who donated so generously and to our employees and reporters who have made this possible.”

RTL Nederland’s flagship channel RTL 4 has teamed up with public broadcaster Nederland 1 and commercial channel SBS 6. Yesterday evening, the country’s three most popular TV channels simultaneously broadcast the charity programme Nederland Helpt Haiti, which raised EUR 41.7 million in donations. The Dutch government doubled the result, bringing the total amount to EUR 83.4 million to be forwarded to SHO, a consortium of various organisations. Most commercial radio stations, including RTL Nederland’s Radio 538, also supported the joint initiative.

In Spain, Grupo Antena 3 - comprising the major TV channel Antena 3 plus the radio stations Onda Cero and Europa FM - launched the Ayuda a Haití campaign last Friday 15 January. It raises funds to help the victims of the earthquake via text messages. Within 48 hours, the campaign had already generated EUR 1.3 million in donations, which will go to the Red Cross.

In Germany, Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland has launched a trailer campaign on its channels RTL Television, Vox, N-TV and Super RTL. So far, more than EUR 1.9 million have been donated by viewers in response to the campaign. In addition, the company’s charity foundation “Stiftung RTL - Wir helfen Kindern e.V." decided to provide EUR 100,000 from its emergency relief fund, bringing the total amount to more than EUR 2 million. Among other things, the donations from the viewers will be used to rebuild the orphanage in Trichet, which was sponsored by an RTL Spendenmarathon project several years ago and was completely destroyed in the earthquake.

In France, M6 and RTL Radio have teamed up with the newspaper Le Figaro for the campaign Sauvons les enfants d’Haïti. The proceeds from the fund drive, which begins today, will be administered by the Fondation de France and will be spent mainly on the rebuilding and subsequent running of orphanages, kindergartens, schools and clinics providing free health care.
 
In addition, Groupe M6 has been running a trailer campaign on its channels M6 and W9 since 15 January, in which its news anchors call on viewers to support Unicef’s relief efforts. Last Sunday, the football match between Groupe M6’s club Girondins de Bordeaux against Olympique Marseille helped raise another EUR 33,000, as EUR 1 per sold ticket was forwarded to Unicef.
 
From day one, and for a week, RTL Radio was the media partner of the association “Médecins du Monde”. In each of its news bulletins and on the station’s website, RTL Radio invited its listeners to donate for Haiti.

RTL Belgium and the public broadcaster for Belgium’s French-speaking population, RTBF, organised a joint programme benefiting the victims of the earthquake. The show SOS Haïti was aired simultaneously yesterday evening on RTL-TVI and RTBF 1 and raised EUR 198,000 in donations for various aid organisations. SOS Haïti also ran on the radio station Bel RTL and on the website RTLinfo.be.

RTL Group’s TV channels and radio stations have been reporting extensively from Haiti to raise awareness for the need for long-term solidarity in helping to reconstruct the devastated country. RTL Radio’s US correspondent was one of the first reporters to arrive on the scene. Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland reporters have been on location since 13 January to show viewers how their aid is being received in the crisis area. Special correspondents from RTL Nederland and RTL Belgium also reported live from Haiti, interviewing eyewitnesses, survivors and members of humanitarian organisations.

RTL Radio Deutschland, RTL Klub in Hungary, RTL Televizija in Croatia, Alpha TV in Greece and RTL Lëtzebuerg have also reported extensively on the disaster and called on their viewers and listeners to donate directly to trusted organisations.

 

For further enquiries please contact:

Oliver Herrgesell
Corporate Communications
Phone: +352 – 2486 – 5200
oliver.herrgesell@rtlgroup.com

About RTL Group
RTL Group is the leading European entertainment network, with interests in 45 television channels and 31 radio stations in 11 countries and content production throughout the world. The television portfolio of Europe’s largest broadcaster includes RTL Television in Germany, M6 in France, Five in the UK, the RTL channels in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Croatia and Hungary, Alpha TV in Greece, Ren TV in Russia and Antena 3 in Spain. RTL Group’s flagship radio station is RTL in France, and it also owns or has interests in other stations in France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain and Luxembourg. RTL Group's content production arm, FremantleMedia, is one of the largest international producers outside the US. Each year, it produces 10,000 hours of programming across 57 countries.