Flush Commercials? From Today That Is a Thing of the Past

Today, TV viewers can no longer fast-forward commercial breaks if they watch a program from a Belgian TV channel with a delay. Even those who have recorded a program will receive one minute of non-forwardable advertising at the beginning. It is already 230,000 viewers at telecom operator Telenet.

Flush Commercials? From Today That Is a Thing of the Past

The Flemish are watching more and more TV, but we prefer to skip all advertising. “But that happens a bit too much; channels need the advertising model to support the production of local programs,” says Wilfried Celis, chairman of VIA, the consultative body of the Belgian TV channels.

What is Changing?

As of today, a new advertising model is therefore being rolled out. Celis speaks of change on two levels. First, “With  recordings, customers will have to get used to one minute of non-forwardable commercials before the start of each program .” Anyone who rewatches episodes has experienced this fact for some time on online video platforms. Second, during the TV program, you can then skip the commercial breaks.

The second step applies if your television programs will later look back. “All commercial breaks during the program will be non-forwardable  .”

“With recordings, customers will have to get used to one minute of non-forwardable commercials before the start of each program.” – Wilfried Celis, chairman VIA

The new advertising model is being rolled out step by step. But, as of today, it is the turn of the first Telenet customers. “This concerns the first group of about 230,000 customers. Those are the owners of the last generation of TV decoders, the ones with voice control.”

Anyone who belongs to that group received a letter or e-mail from Telenet in August. Telecom operators Proximus and Orange will soon join the story. The chairman of VIA is not yet able to announce the exact timing of those changes. 


VIA understands that customers are not immediately enthusiastic about the new rules, so they come up with compensation. “We are going to do the service where you can look back seven days in the program guide for the customer free of charge, says Wilfried Celis. A good balance, according to them, between viewing comfort and the introduction of the new advertising model.

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