Money can’t always buy you success. Media billionaire John de Mol has announced that he has sold his commercial TV channel Tien to its bigger rival RTL Nederland after an unsuccessful two year struggle to gain a market share of 10%.
De Mol wasn’t short of cash or ideas. He bought up everybody who was anybody in media land. The brain behind Big Brother is a programme format genius and has launched numerous blockbusters as well as managing to buy the rights to the premier division football games.
So what went wrong? De Mol says the media had it in for him and were excessively negative about his ambitious plans. Commentators certainly didn’t like his big-money power play.
But the real answer is probably that De Mol over-reached himself. The power and money led to bombast and programmes that were over-produced, such as the football highlights show which was set in a studio fit for an Italian game show and which was stretched to almost two hours.
De Mol himself admits he threw too much money into big productions in the beginning. Curiously, the man whose feel for what moves the TV public has become legendary, seems to be out of sync with current viewing habits.
Tien is DeMol’s second TV channel failure. Maybe he’s learnt his lesson.
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