Pieter De Windt, editor-in-chief of Sporza, is exchanging VRT for the Pro League, the organizer of professional football in our country, after eighteen years. The move comes at a time when the public broadcaster is losing more and more major sports contracts.
The VRT sports editorial team has to look for a new editor-in-chief. Pieter De Windt will leave the public broadcaster on January 31 to start working for the Pro League. He will become director of media, marketing and commercial at the organization of professional football clubs. This gives him a say in the future distribution of TV rights for Belgian professional football. The VRT has fewer and fewer of these rights.
“I was struck by how much I wanted to get started with Belgian football after a first conversation,” De Windt writes in an internal communication to the editorial staff of Sporza and VRT Nws. “I grew up as a fan and amateur football player on and off the field, and know how much Belgian football can determine the mood and working week of many. Being able to help write that story and that dynamic is really a challenge that I would really like to take on.”
De Windt worked for the public broadcaster for eighteen years and was editor-in-chief for ten years. He helped guide the editorial team’s digital change and turned Sporza’s website into a stronger brand. Under his leadership, there was also more room for diversity in the sports offering and podcasts such as 90 minutes and Cycling Club Wattage were launched.
At the same time, the VRT had to sacrifice popular sports rights. Last week it was announced that the public broadcaster lost the broadcasting rights of the Uefa Europa League and Conference League to Play. As far as men’s football is concerned, VRT only has the rights to the Croky Cup, which it shares with VTM. The matches of the Red Devils have been on VTM for some time, except for the matches at major tournaments.
De Windt’s departure comes six months before a busy sporting summer with the European Football Championship, the Tour de France with Remco Evenepoel and the Olympic Games in Paris. The VRT owns the rights to the three events.
“I had hoped that Pieter would add another eighteen years. But unfortunately’, general editor-in-chief Liesbet Vrieleman writes in a message to staff. ‘Fortunately, Sporza is more than just Pieter. And we will continue to put this strong brand on the map every day, both linearly and digitally.’