Hot Topic - Media in Denmark
Markets can be cruel. Consolidation can be necessary. For the media sector there is no perfect formula. Dynamics, market and otherwise, often point in different directions and change quickly. It’s like riding a shark.
As audience shares drop, public broadcasters continue to look for solutions. With flat or contracting revenue streams and politicians wary of details, new ideas look like old ideas. The digital dividend strikes again.
Private sector media operators have long called for reducing public broadcasting’s output. The overwhelming might of legacy, publicly funded radio and television stifles competition, they say. Politicians, sympathetic for various reasons, have been reluctant to make changes, fearing voter backlash. One of the first newly privatized radio channels has signed on to both criticism and praise.
The Danish cartoon controversy that sparked broad outrage has flared again. This time it was a newspaper’s apology to Muslims that provoked anger from politicians and free press advocates. The newspaper’s editor said it wants to advance a conversation.
Commercial radio broadcasting lives and dies on its ability to monetize its brand and program. There is risk and it is not new. With public broadcastings built-in advantages the precarious balance between public and private sector media is ready to tip.
TV 2 Radio has become Nova FM. It’s the second time in two years a national commercial radio channel in Denmark failed financially and had to be taken over by somebody braver than the last. And the Culture Minister is proposing more national FM channels. Danes, you know, are the happiest people in the world but confusion doesn’t bring smiles.
Reports from the scene tell of a brief, rather dull auction for the Danish national radio license formerly known as Sky Radio. The five qualified bidders had already narrowed to three. State-owned commercial broadcaster TV2 took the prize.
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State Aid - Media Rules
National authorities have at their disposal a variety of economic measures to stimulate, develop and improve competitive market sectors. Sometimes they miss the big picture or have special circumstances. Within the European Union an executive branch of the European Commission stands ready to clarify the rules of each and every game. State Aid rules are developing as the playing field gets bigger. 35 pages, PDF (September 2016)
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