Thursday 20 September 2018

Dramatic Cuts for the Public Broadcaster in Denmark

Another blow to a continued DAB radio introduction
The new public service contract between Danmarks Radio and the government set a 20% reduction of its budget for five years. Around 400 positions will be axed. DR’s six television channels will be reduced to three and three of eight radio channels will be closed.  The radio channels to be closed are DAB-only channels (P6 Beat, P7 Mix and P8 Jazz). DR Radio will continue with five channels on both FM and DAB+

The background is both the necessary cuts and to ensure that DR can place even more focus on conversion to digital (i.e. Internet). In terms of content, we will now focus even more on our strengths. All in all, these are relatively drastic changes, but we think we’re on the right path, says DR director general Maria Rørbye Rønn.

There is also more emphasis on public transparency regarding the DR organisation and its economy. Notable is also that DR must increase the quota of Danish music in both the radio channels P3 and P4 to 48%.

Commenting on the budget cuts, EBU Director General Noel Curran said: We are deeply concerned by the budget cuts that have forced DR to announce the closure of a significant number of public media services. DR has built amongst the highest market share and weekly reach of all public service media organisations in Europe says the EBU.

Over the years there has been a chain of political conflicts regarding DR. A major reason is the overwhelming dominance DR maintained on the radio and television market.  A couple of years ago DR had 75% of all radio listening in Denmark.

The number of national DAB channels in Denmark are decreasing from 18 to 15. This will not be beneficial to the introduction of DAB+ radio as the backbone of the Danish radio structure is still FM. A DR listener will now not experience any added value by buying a DAB-able receiver. DAB was introduced in Denmark 2002 but weekly listening remains around 15%

Read more
Danish pubcaster DR to close three TV channels (BroadbandTV News)
Christianity in, integration out in new guidelines for Danish public broadcaster (The Local dk)

Also read
Government's plan to turn off the FM band is ”stone dead”
Danish DAB Radio Setback- FM Listening Increased