In a bid to keep costs down and concentrate on its core markets, US/Swiss-based live TV-streaming platform Zattoo has stopped its Belgian service, according to Broadbandtvnews.com, citing local press coverage. The site’s Belgian service showed terrestrial channel SBS Belgium as well as al-Jazeera and Bloomberg France — though the company may return to the country in the future if it can find the right marketing partner. Zattoo, which legally re-broadcasts terrestrial and some satellite channels live, is now shown in the UK, Denmark, France, Germany, Norway, Spain and Switzerland and has about 4.2 million registered users. Belgium, with 100,000 users, was clearly not a major market for Zattoo (it only has a population of 10.4 million) when compared to the 1.3 million users it has in Spain or the 1.38 million in Germany.
Update: Zattoo’s CEO Beat Knecht, got back to me after I asked the company whether the fees payable to re-broadcast Belgian content was a factor, and he says: “Yes the content fees are a factor!” While the service remains free and ad-supported in the UK, Zattoo has had to introduce users fees in some countries.