Broadcast History & Media Advertising

By Jillian Loustaunau, Sean Wilburn, & Vitalina Lopez

History of Luxembourggggggggggggggggggggggggg



Luxembourg is a small landlocked country that has become a prominent financial and global media center in the last century ("BBC News-Luxembourg country profile"). In 1839, it was granted political autonomy and became known as the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. About a third of the population are foreigners, which is why many of its inhabitants are trilingual in French, German and Luxembourgish ("BBC News-Luxembourg country profile"). The national government is a parliament with a constitutional monarchy by inheritance ("U.S. Department of State Background Note Luxembourg"). In 1949, after being occupied by Germany during both World Wars, Luxembourg became a charter member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO ("U.S. Department of State Background Note Luxembourg"). The country is a founding member of the European Union (EU) and is home to many important EU institutions. The economy is thriving in Luxembourg. It boasts the highest per capita income worldwide. This achievement is due to the presence of major global corporation headquarters like Arcelor-Mittal, the world’s largest steel producer, RTL Group, Europe’s largest private broadcaster, and SES Global, the world’s leading satellite operator (Hirsch 5). -Lopez



sssssGovernment policies have and continue to promote Luxembourg as an audiovisual and communications center ("U.S. Department of State Background Note Luxembourg"). Audiovisual refers to technologies that require visual and/or audio participation from those involved. These technologies include radio, phone, internet, and television. -Lopez

Luxembourg has 2 national radio stations, 4 regional radio stations, and 20 local radio stations. 95% of the Luxembourg population watches cable televsion and only 1% does not own a television. The radio and television programs are broadcasted across Europe in French and the local dialect of Luxembourgeois. -Loustaunau


Luxembourg has an extensive media empire and is home to Europe's largest satelite operator, Societe Europeenne des Satellites (SES) which operates the ASTRA satelite fleet. The SES headquarters are in Luxembourg at the Chateau de Betzdorf and the company's efforts reach 117 million European homes, 72% of the population for Europe's digital satelite market.-Loustaunau

sssssLast March, marked the 25th anniversary of the satellite company SES. In 1977 the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), developed a plan for direct broadcasting by satellite (DBS). Each European nation was allocated five frequencies. Given the technology at the time, only one high-quality TV signal could be achieved. Luxembourg rebelled against the norm and instead chose a different path. It rejected the European high-power DBS scheme, choosing instead a medium-power system similar to the already proven US system. This innovative technology reduced the satellite transponder power and allowed an increase to 16 channels. This offered a greater variety in broadcasting as well as vital advertising revenue (Williamson). As mentioned before, SES has become the world’s leading satellite operator. -Lopez



sssssIn 1955 with the dawn of television, the radio company became Radio-Television Luxembourg under the brand name RTL (Williamson). Radio Luxembourg was very successful for almost 60 years. Its station, 1440 AM, went of air in 1992 ("Radio Luxembourg"). RTL remains as Europe’s premier private radio and broadcaster ("U.S. Department of State Background Note Luxembourg") -Lopez

sssssIn 1995 the government of Luxembourg signed a contract with the RTL group that prolonged all existing television and radio licenses but prohibited third party broadcast companies that would compete with RTL programs. The contract also made a compromise that RTL would offer television and radio programs for local audiences and the government freed RTL RTL_Group.pngof some of its public service obligations. -Loustaunau


Radio Luxembourgzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

The origin of Radio Luxembourg (commonly known as Radio Television Luxembourg in non-English speaking countries) was due in large part because of the monopoly that was the BBC. The BBC wouldn’t allow any advertising over the domestic radio spectrum in attempt to gain revenue by selling its own form of brand licensing.
ssssIn 1924, a man named Francois Aneu built a radio transmitter to broadcast to the people of Luxembourg. Since Luxembourg is in a central Western European location, Aneu had the idea to broadcast English programs throughout Western Europe. On May 11, 1929 Aneu gathered a group of entrepreneurs, and they called themselves the “Luxembourg Society for Radio Studies”. The main purpose was to pressure the government to create a commercial broadcast license. On December 19, 1929 they were successful and the government created a law to create a commercial broadcasting franchise that was to be based in Luxembourg. The LSRS was granted the franchise and they became the “Luxembourg Broadcasting Company” known today as “Radio Luxembourg”. -Wilburn
ssssIn 1933, the Luxembourg government decided to go against establishing a public radio system, choosing to privatize it instead (Williamson). Radio Luxembourg switched waved lengths three times in their first month. Originally the station was given a low power medium wave frequency for internal needs, however the station refused it. Instead they chose a long wave frequency. This allowed them to find the most powerful transmitter in the region. Since the start, the station was aware of the distance that needed to be reached in order to make the most lucrative profit by advertising. Advertising in foreign languages allowed them to gain viewers and profits in foreign markets ("Radio Luxembourg"). -Lopez
ssssFrom 1933 until World War 2, a large audience in the UK and other European countries kept Radio Luxembourg going strong. Once World War 2 began, Radio Luxembourg closed to protect the country’s neutrality. It was soon taken over by both German forces and the Allied forces though and propaganda was broadcasted over the airwaves. Upon its return after the war, Radio Luxembourg wanted to start transmissions as a full – time radio station instead of part – time. The station broadcasted on a long band wave, as a second station, Radio Luxembourg 2 was created in 1951 on a weaker, less powerful medium band wave. Eventually the medium band wave became a place for all the English programming as the long wave was reserved for other languages. The two stations merged, becoming just Radio Luxembourg.
ssssIn the 1950’s the radio station shows were a combination of pre – recorded shows created in the UK and also live DJ sessions. Through this time period and also due in part to the live DJ sessions, the stations target audience became the teenager. Original show topics such as sports, comedy, variety, and drama were replaced with pop. By the mid 1960’s, program ideas weren’t novel anymore and Radio Luxembourg changed their focus. In 1968 they introduced all live programming that included spot adds, and all new DJs. Luxembourg enjoyed having almost all of the UK commercial airwaves to itself and didn’t have to face any competition throughout the 70’s and 80’s. This didn’t allow it to broadcast any time though, as evening/nights were their time slots.
ssssLuxembourg at the end of the 1980’s began trying to reach a new audience, and focused on Scandanavia with daytime programming. Radio Luxembourg however still suffered a drop in popularity. A factor that didn’t help was that they could only be heard in AM, while the popular stations were broadcasting in FM. This drop in popularity inevitably led to a decrease in money from various industries for commercials. The company decided to shut down the AM frequency broadcasting, and just broadcast on short wave from satellite. Broadcasting from satellite did lead to an increase of listeners as it spread out the broadcast zone, but ratings can’t be accurately tabulated this way. Without commercial money through advertising, Radio Luxembourg shut down in 1992. - Wilburn
ssssRadio Luxembourg made its return in September 2005. Before it was launched the idea of having digital radio seemed to be "future proof" to the public, as if it could not advance any further from this stage. The concept of transmitting this station by name rather than frequency was cutting edge and everyone had to get these new digital portable radios.
ssssToday Radio Luxembourg is still a classic rock radio station targeting listeners of the United Kingdom and Ireland but it now works by using the internet and digital radio to provide listeners with 24/7 access. The old ways of broadcast via AM or FM signals have long been abandoned and seem to be extinct in this constantly developing company. Listeners can reminisce of the old Radio Luxembourg with the website's Audio On Demand feature. Even after a 13 year absence, Radio Luxembourg fans can't get enough of "The Best in Classic Rock". Just as it was in the 1930's, Radio Luxembourg continues to be a leader in broadcast technology globally. -Loustaunau


LUXE.TV images.jpg
Luxe.TV is the world's first international network produced 100% in high-definition. Luxe.TV is also the world's first channel dedicated purely to the world of luxury. It showcases 800 luxury brands in six languages to over 385 million viewers throughout Asia,
Australia, Europe, India, hotel.jpgRussia, North Africa and the Middle East. The channel revolves its programs around five glamorous themes:Fine Dining & Hotels; Beauty & Fashion; Jewelery & Watches; Arts & Craftsmanship; and Cars, Jets & Yachts. Luxe.TV can be accessed in either standard or high definition. It has been said that Luxe.TV has become the reference point for the world of luxury and has been titled "the glossy paper" of television.

Looking Forward

ssssLuxembourg has been a front-runner in technical advances and innovations since the beginning. They will continue to prosper and expand their vision. SES-Astra has 15 satellites in geostationary orbit, four more on order and is quickly becoming a global conglomerate. It is currently the world’s second largest satellite fleet operator, behind Intelsat; its footprints cover the Americas, Europe, Africa and parts of Asia (Williamson). -Lopez
ssss As we move forward, into theglobal2.jpg future, and SES develops and acquires more satellites their reach will expand globally making them a broadcasting and advertising giant. Moving into the spectrum of digital HD television from the old analogue scheme has been a slow process but has broken through as the latest innovation. It is hard to say where SES will be in a half century, but one thing is certain—they will be around (Williamson). -Lopez



ss Media advertising in Luxembourg has quite a few things going for it. It’s central location in Western Europe combined with it’s powerful broadcasting waves allows for widespread coverage of it’s broadcasts. This also has helped RTL become the second largest radio/television broadcast company (following the BBC). With stations reaching the UK, Netherlands, France, Spain, even as far away as Australia, Luxembourg has a large market for its commercial airtime. Since Radio Luxembourg was originally a “pirate station” it was able to go around the BBC monopoly and advertise products through its broadcasts. It sold airtime in increments of 15 minutes. Luxembourg has from the start allowed these commercial broadcasts to be sent to other countries, which has allowed it to gain an advantage over others which it has kept. Luxembourg has also never had a television licensing fee since it has always been a commercial broadcaster. Since the people of Luxembourg understand German, Luxembourgish, and French there is a market for more advertisements to be sold. - Wilburn

Luxembourg Commission for Advertising Ethics

ssss This Commission is a part of the European Advertising Standards Alliance (EASA) and applies codes and regulations to Luxembourg's advertisment. The Commission is actually set up and funded by the advertising industry of Luxembourg which takes public complaints. If the Commission finds these complaints to be valid then the advertisment of concern will need to be altered or removed.
ssss In 2005 self-regulation became the method of ad regulation. The purpose was to reinforce effective functioning of self-regulation of each company's own profile. The Commission Luxembourgoise pour l’Ethique en Publicité (CLEP) was relaunced five years later in May 2009 as an advertising watchdog. This action was considered to be the best means of self-regulation by EASA. Luxembourg was supported by Belgium during this transition to make sure everything would adhere to the national advertising code.
ssssWhat separates this advertising from self-regulation is that the matter is taken further than simply receiving complaints. Advice will be given to those seeking advertisment prior to their ads being published. This advice includes indicating whether part of the work could come into conflict with the regulations. CLEP also promotes and defends advertising and its form of self-regulation is becoming widespread across Europe -Loustaunau


Vitalina Lopez

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Williamson, Mark. "Satellite company SES reaches 25." IET. The Institution of Engineering and Technology, 01 Mar 2010. Web. 26 Jun 2010. <>.

Jillian Loustaunau

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Sean Wilburn

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*Note: The images themselves are links to their sources.