) is a German
commercial television station
distributed via cable
along with DVB-T
(Digital Video Broadcasting - Terrestrial, in
larger population centres). It belongs to the RTL Group
and is, in terms of market share
, Germany's largest private
broadcasting on 2 January 1984 at 17:27 from VHF channel E7 (system
B, color PAL) in Luxembourg and at first only had a theoretical audience of
200,000. Until 1988, when it moved its headquarters to
Cologne, Germany, it was
considered a Luxembourg-based station.
A spin-off of the German version of Radio Luxembourg
, RTL started with
a low budget and many of the early hosts simply presented versions
of their radio formats adapted for television. One early success
was the quiz show "Ein Tag wie kein anderer" (A Day Like No Other),
in which candidates were competing for a holiday.
RTL plus was famous in its early years for showing low-budget films
and American programmes. It was the number 2 commercial broadcaster,
which at the time didn't mean much: Only a limited audience with
cable could see the new channels, an effect which led to many
Germans going to their neighbours to watch that strange new channel
All that changed when RTL moved to Cologne
and, in return, received the right to broadcast on terrestrial
frequencies. That same year, RTL acquired the first-run right to
the prestigious Fußball-Bundesliga
. Deals with
Cannon, which at the time was successful with films like
and, one year
later, with Universal Studios
finally provided more high profile films for the channel.
More and more people started to watch the channel, which soon also
became famous for its edgy own productions. RTL was notorious for
showing 70s softcore
every Saturday night at 11.00 .
It became the market leader in the early 90s. The current slogan is
“Mein RTL” which means My RTL
It is now the primary channel of the RTL
's German television stations, which also include RTL II
, Super RTL
News / News Magazines
- Punkt 6 on weekdays, at 06:00.
- Punkt 9 on weekdays, at 09:00.
- Punkt 12 on weekdays, at 12:00
- RTL Aktuell main news programme broadcast daily at 18:45. The
head news presenter is Peter Kloeppel.
- RTL Nachtjournal, every night, at about midnight
- Explosiv, daily tabloid programme with presenters Janine
Steeger and Nazan Eckes.
- Exclusiv, celebrity news programme with Frauke Ludowig and
- Stern TV newsmagazine based on the
print magazine Stern
hosted by Günther Jauch.
- Spiegel TV newsmagazine based on
the print magazine Der Spiegel
hosted by Maria Gresz and Hendrik Voehringer.
- Extra - Das RTL-Magazin, a weekly magazine hosted by Birgit
- Wer wird
Millionär?, a German version of Celador format Who Wants to Be a
Millionaire? hosted by Günther Jauch since 1999 whose format
started in the UK.
- Deutschland sucht
den Superstar, a German version of production sister company
Fremantle's Idols whose format started in the UK.
- Let's Dance, a German
version of Strictly Come
Dancing hosted by Nazan Eckes
and Hape Kerkeling whose format
started in the UK.
- Dancing on Ice hosted by Mirjam Weichselbraun and Wayne
Carpendale whose format started in the UK.
- Einsatz in 4 Wänden - Spezial a renovation show; the complete
house is re-fashioned.
- Das Supertalent, a German version of Britain's Got Talent
- Bauer sucht Frau, German version of British Farmer wants a wife hosted by Inka
- Rach, der Restauranttester, German version of British Ramsay´s
- Raus aus den Schulden (Out of the debts)
- Die Super-Nanny - Katharina Saalfrank - helps families with
- Ich bin ein
Star - Holt mich hier raus!, German version of Granada format
Celebrity... Get Me Out of
Here! hosted by Sonja Zietlow
and Dirk Bach
- Top of the Pops, the German
version of the now-defunct British music show.
- Big Boss, a
short-lived format in Germany. Fremantle holds international
licences for the show, except in the United States.
- Fear Factor German version of
Endemol format hosted by Sonja
- Der Schwächste fliegt!, a
short-lived German version of the BBC format,
The Weakest Link
- Entern oder Kentern, hosted by Sonja
- Achtung! Hartwich (cancelled)
- Alles Atze
- Freitag Nacht News (cancelled)
- Alle lieben Jimmy (cancelled)
- Doctor's Diary
- Mitten im Leben
- Kinder, Kinder (cancelled)
- Nicola (canceled)
- Mein Leben und Ich (cancelled)
- Böse Mädchen
- 4 Singles (cancelled)
American soap operas
Other American series