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RTBF or Radio télévision belge de la communauté française is the national broadcasting organisation of the government of the French-speaking southern part of Belgiummarker, the counterpart to the Dutch-speaking VRTmarker in the northern part of the country. RTBF operates four television channels, La Une, La Deux, La Trois and RTBF Sat (Satellite TV), along with a number of radio channels, La Première, RTBF International, VivaCité, Musiq3, Classic 21 and PureFM.

The RTBF headquarters in Brusselsmarker are sometimes referred to as Reyers . This colloquial address comes from the name of the avenue where the main building is located, the Boulevard A. Reyers .

History

Originally named INR – Institut national belge de radiodiffusion ( ), the state-controlled broadcaster was established by law on 18 June 1930. On 14 June 1940 the INR was forced to cease broadcasting as a result of the German invasion. The German occupying forces, who now oversaw its management, changed the INR's name to Radio Bruxelles. A number of INR personnel were able to relocate to the BBC's studios in London from where they broadcast as Radio Belgique / Radio België under the Office de Radiodiffusion Nationale Belge (RNB) established by the Belgian government-in-exile's Ministry of Information.

At the end of the war the INR and the RNB coexisted until 14 September 1945, when a Royal Decree restored the INR's original mission. The INR was one of 23 broadcasting organizations which founded the European Broadcasting Unionmarker in 1950. Television broadcasting from Brussels began in 1953, with two hours of programming each day. In 1960 the INR was subsumed into RTB (Radio-Télévision Belge) and moved to new quarters at the Reyers building in 1967. RTB's first broadcast in colour, Le Jardin Extraordinaire (a gardening and nature programme), was transmitted in 1971. Two years later the RTB began broadcasting news in colour.

In 1977, following Belgian federalization and the establishment of separate language communities, the French-language section of RTB became RTBF (Radio-Télévision Belge de la Communauté française) and a second television channel was set up with the name RTbis. In 1979 RTbis became "Télé 2". Along with French channels TF1marker, Antenne 2, FR 3 and SSR, RTBF jointly established the European French-speaking channel TV5 in 1984. On 21 March 1988 Télé 2 became Télé 21. On 27 September 1989 a subsidiary company of RTBF was set up with the name Canal Plus TVCF, which subsequently became "Canal Plus Belgique" in May 1995. In 1993 Télé 21 was replaced by Arte/21 and Sport 21.

The analogue transmitter coverage

By 2011, RTBF plans the analogue systems to be phased out for Wallonia.

Bye Bye Belgium

On 13 December 2006, at 20:21 CET (19:21 UTC), RTBF replaced an edition of its regular current affairs programme Questions à la Une with a fake special news report in which it was claimed that Flanders had proclaimed independence, effectively dissolving the Belgianmarker state. The programme had been preceded by a caption reading "This may not be fiction", which was repeated intermittently as a subtitle to the images on screen. After the first half hour of the 90-minute broadcast, however – by which point RTBF's response line had been flooded with calls – this was replaced with a caption reading "This is fiction".

The video featured images of news reporters standing in front of the Flemish Parliamentmarker, while Flemish separatists waved the flag of Flanders behind them. Off to the side, Francophone and Belgian nationalists were waving Belgian flags. The report also featured footage of King Albert and Queen Paola getting on a military jet to Congomarker, a former Belgian colony.

RTBF justified the hoax on the grounds that it raised the issue of Flemish nationalism, but others felt that it raised the issue of about how much the public can trust the press.

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