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First quarterly edition 2002
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The quarterly editions of Nordic Media, from 1994 onwards, are available on the net. Nordic Media is a summary of the contents of Medier i Norden: Resymé (Scandinavian languages news bulletin).

Nordic Media may be quoted, provided the source is clearly stated.

  Editor                                                      Publisher
Terje Flisen (TF)                                        Secretary General Søren Christensen
Postboks 1726 Vika                                  Nordic Council of Ministers,
0121 Oslo, Norge                                      Store Strandstræde 18
Tel. + 47 22 36 46 45                                 DK-1255 København K., Denmark

Nordic Media (previously Nordic Media News) ISSN 1396-934X – electronic edition.



15 March 2002: The Danes still love Danish films

30 per cent of all cinema tickets sold in Denmark in the fiscal year 2001 were bought by Danes who wanted to see Danish films. The Danish bureau of statistics, Danmarks Statistik, concludes that last year was a magnificent one for the Danish film industry, especially seen in contrast to 2000, when the market share for Danish films was down to 19 per cent.

Ritzaus/Jyllands-Posten writes that in terms of sold tickets the figures are 3.6 million, an increase by 77 per cent when Danish films are concerned. In all, 11.9 million tickets were sold, 12 per cent more than last year.

"This is a fantastic manifestation of the success of Denmark as a film-making nation," area director for production and development of the Danish Film Institute, Lars Feilberg, says.

He continues: "In fact, in Europe only the French film industry has a higher market share for domestic films. However, the French produce 160 films every year, which by far exceeds the Danish production".

Mr. Feilberg points out that one of the factors of Danish success is the Dogma films, distinguished by closeness and a genuine approach to their subjects.

Source: Ritzaus/Jyllands-Posten

13 March 2002 : Agreement secures DKK 13 million for the digitalization of the cultural inheritance

The Danish cultural inheritance, which includes films, archives and art treasures, will in the future be made accessible via computers.

In order to digitalize the cultural inheritance an agreement has been made between the Government and the three parties Socialdemokratiet, Det radikale Venstre and SF, the Ministry of Culture declares in a press release.

The agreement calls for the utilization of funds which where the result of an auction last autumn, concerning licenses for the third generation of mobile nets. DKK 13 million are reserved for the digitalization project.

The Minister of Culture, mr. Brian Mikkelsen, wants to make the cultural inheritance accessible via the Internet, for educational purposes, for re and general cultural development. The safeguarding of fragile material is another aspect of dugitalization, the Ministry states.

"It is of the utmost importance that Danish culture is accessible on the Internet, in order to let people, at home in their own living room, have new experiences, possibly leading to inspiration and further cultural work", the Minister says.

Many collections and archives are treasuries of knowledge and testimonies of the Danish cultural inheritance, and at the same time suitable for digitalization. The possibilities now excist to strengthen the development and digitalization of a variety of cultural activities, whether it is virtual art exhibitions, digital access to the Danish film treasure, or electronic transmission of church registers and folktales.

Source: The Ministry of Culture

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13 March 2002: YLE Group result as foreseen

"YLE Group's turnover last year came to EUR 381 million and the result for the period after extraordinary items was EUR 23.3 million", YLE states.

"Operating loss was EUR 108.6 million, or EUR 96.6 million more than in the previous year. The operational business loss exclusive of non-recurring items was as budgeted and remained at the previous year's level. Non-recurring items accounted for EUR 59.3 million of costs in 2001.

The decline in the operating profit for the year was due to a large extent to a reduction in operating licence fees, partly to a non-recurring rise in Pension Fund payments and to write-offs of fixed assets.

The result for 2001 was according to the financial strategy confirmed by the company's Administrative Council. The strategy consists of rendering the operation more effective, new allocation of available resources, and of the use of the revenue from the sale of Digita Oy's shares for the initial funding of new services.

Turnover grew by 5.3% compared to the previous year. Television fee revenue rose by 8.7%, due to the 11.3% increase in the television fee which entered into force in July 2000.

Pension costs for the financial period were exceptionally high. This was due to a decline in investment yields and in particular to the change in the bases for calculating.

Performance fees rose by EUR 12.3 million, due in particular to major sports events. Consolidated depreciation and write-offs came to EUR 83 million, including write-offs totalling EUR 32.5 million relating to the introduction of digital technology.

The Group's financial position improved thanks to the sale of Digita's shares. Solvency was 51.5% (53.2% in 2000). The balance sheet total was EUR 522.2 million (EUR 462.1 million in 2000). Investments were EUR 3.2 million lower than in the previous year, and accounted for eleven per cent of turnover.

According to the plans, the number of YLE's personnel will fall to 3,500 by the end of 2004. At the end of last year, YLE had 3,770 permanent employees, a decline compared to the previous year of 171, i.e., 4.3%. Digita Oy had 382 employees.

Percentage of domestic programmes rising
YLE television channels' share of viewing increased by one percentage point to 43 per cent. The number of YLE television programme hours in the Finnish-language network rose from the previous year by a total of 454 hours to 11,114 hours. Output in Swedish also grew as a consequence of the launch of digital broadcasts. The share of domestic programmes out of television programme output rose by four percentage points to 57 per cent. The share of European programmes was 86% and that of domestic producers outside YLE 21%.

YLE radio channels' share of all radio listening fell by four percentage points to 56 per cent. With its 41 per cent share, Radio Suomi and its provincial radio channels was still the radio channel attracting the most listeners in Finland as a whole. The population of Finland listened to the radio for an average of three hours 28 minutes a day, i.e., for seven minutes more than in the previous year. There were a total of 198,784 hours of YLE radio broadcasts, i.e., 8,615 hours more than in the previous year".

Source: YLE Press Room

24 January 2002: The Finnish audio-visual sector needs government funding

"A study on the support of the audio-visual sector in Finland is completed", the Ministry of Education states.

"The re studied the finances of Finnish audio-visual companies and the impact of different support mechanisms. The study comprised an analysis of the financial statements of 105 Finnish audio-visual companies from 1999.

Film production companies were clearly most dependent on public funding. Their operations at the present extent would be impossible without government support.

In over 50% of the television production companies, profitability is a result of government funding. Small film audiences and the low market share of Finnish films is a severe problem for Finnish film production".

Source: The Ministry of Education

1 February 2002: New broadband services available in most municipalities

"New telecommunication services are available to an increasing number of households. In the last few years, the provision of conventional teleservices has also increased. Long distance and international teleservices and particularly mobile communication have witnessed a significant improvement", the Ministry of Transport and Communications states.

"A study commissioned by the Ministry of Transport and Communications of Finland examined the availability of such teleservices that are important to households. In terms of availability, ISDN is by far the best household Internet access. It is available to nearly every household in each Finnish municipality.

New broadband teleservices (ADSL services) are also available almost everywhere in Finland. There are only minor regional differences. Eight municipalities in the provinces of Southern and Western Finland and Åland do not fall within the scope of ADSL. In most municipalities, however, the availability is reasonably good; at least a half of all households have access to the services.

Regional differences in the provision of teleservices show in the number of service providers, i.e. whether the service is available from only one or several providers. The newest teleservices are more likely to become available in a municipality that has built-up areas that are large enough and worth the additional investments".

Source: The Ministry of Transport and Communications

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1 March 2002: Tele Island plans transmission of digital television

Tele Island, the main Icelandic telecommunication operator, is planning to start transmissions of digital television next fall.

New broadband technology will be utilized, and according to the project plans a multitude of new channels will be offered. Negotiations are on their way between Tele Island and the suppliers of equipment and content.

At the same time as the new digital transmissions starts, Tele Island will conclude the activities needed to make the broad band net interactive. A permanent high speed connection to the Internet will be offered. The interactivity is necessary to develop the digital television services, among them television on demand, e-trade, etc.

The broad band net of Tele Island at the moment covers half the homes in the capital area of Reykjavik. According to plans the new services will be offered to all new block of houses and where the installations are to be renewed.

In order to reach out as far as possible with the broad band services, Tele Island investigates the interest among potential partners for large common projects, with still more advanced features.

Source: The Ministry of Education

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19 March 2002: Reading newspapers – on paper – is still a popular activity

The Norwegians still can be said to be among the most avid newspaper readers in the world. 91 per cent of the Norwegians, age 13 and over, read at least one newspaper every weekday, according to new figures from Forbruker & Media, the consumer re made by Norsk Gallup on the Norwegians` media habits. 87 per cent of the 13+ Norwegians read a newspaper, when every day of the week was taken into consideration.

The figures are very stable from one year to another, Norsk Gallup notes in a comment on the re report covering the period from February 2001 - February 2002.

Most notably, among the 13 – 19 years old still 82 per cent read a daily newspaper, even though the Internet now is used daily as a source for news by 45 per cent belonging to this age group. The use of the Internet has grown formidaby among teenagers during the last five year period.

All things considered, the accumulated reading of Norwegian newspapers is still wider than the figures related to reading the paper editions show. The Internet sites of large newspapers are among the most visited of Norwegian sites.

Source: Norsk Gallup

12 March 2002: Difficult to run a commercial TV station in Oslo

Metropol, a TV station based in Oslo, had to stop transmitting after two and a half years, Aftenposten writes. NOK 20 million – 30 million had to be secured if further operations were to be made possible.

Metropol was preceded by another commercial channel, also unable to meet the financial demands for continous operations.

The idea was to target urban viewers between the age of 20 – 40 years. However, the advertisers in the end did not support Metropol, possibly finding that a potential coverage of 40 per cent of the Norwegian population was not enough.

However, the viewer numbers were good and growing, according to the board chairman John H. Pran, of NYTV Oslo, the running company responsible for Metropol.

"The end of Metropol means that popular import programming like Jackass, The Late Show with David Letterman and Ali G, as well as their own productions, will vanish from Norwegian TV screens", Aftenposten writes.

However, NYTV Oslo has not lost all hope of refinancing Metropol, and (ultimo March/primo April) negotiations were going on with various potential investors.

The administrative body; the Mass Media Authority, has decided that Metropol's broadcasting license, renewed for seven years starting from 1 January 2003, expires on 20 May if refinancing has not been achieved.

Source: Aftenposten

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25 March 2002: Report from the "E-Cinema Content" seminar ready

The Swedish Film Institute has been one of the forerunners for the development of "E-cinema", the digitalization of the traditional method to show films in cinemas.

One of the results of the activitities of the Film Institute has been numerous seminars and meetings to discuss the development and promotion of E-cinema.

Now a 60 page report in English from the "E-Cinema Content" seminar in The Film House, Stockholm, December 5th 2001, is ready, the Film Institute states. The seminar was arranged by the Institute and the Content Module of the European Digital Cinema Forum (EDCF).

Some of the titles of the contributions: The British View (Charles Sandbank, DTI), The French View (Jean Menu, CNC), A Commercial Cinema-Owner’s View (Mats Kullander, SF Bio), The Hollywood Perspective (Michael Karagosian, NATO).

You may order a copy from the Swedish Film Institute.

Source: The Swedish Film Institute

1 March 2002: Swedish television fee revenue on the increase

More stringent controls, and growing support from the Swedish television viewers, lead to a SEK 24 million increase in television fee revenue in the fiscal year 2001, TT/Dagens Nyheter/Metro Göteborg writes.

The increase in revenue originates from 14.368 more payers than in the preceding year. "We have become more efficient and work in a more systematic manner than we used to", the managing director of Radiotjänst, Lars Lindberg says. Radiotjänst is the executive body responsible for the collection of the television fees.

Last year, Radiotjänst collected SEK 5.8 billion in fees. The fees, coming from 3.3 million television viewers, go to Sveriges Television and Sveriges Radio, to finance the running of the two broadcasting companies. In a European perspective the figures are good, writes TT/Dagens Nyheter/Metro Göteborg.

Source: The Ministry of Culture

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3 April 2002: Nordic telecomms want to merge

The news service of the Nordic Council/Council of Ministers writes that "(…) slow growth in their home markets has left the old Scandinavian telecomms monopolies struggling and may mean more acquisitions and mergers, analysts commented in the wake of Telia's takeover of Sonera".

Telia is the main Swedish telecommunication operator, Sonera the Finnish equivalent.

"Citing Bloomberg, the Danish business newspaper Børsen says that Scandinavian mobile and landline users may have to get used to the idea of fewer but larger operators. Telia's takeover of Finnish Sonera, the biggest acquisition in the European telecomms industry to date, is probably only the start of the battle by Nordic operators to fight off the big multinationals.

Even the largest operator in Denmark, TDC, is under pressure. Giants like the Vodafone Group and Hutchinson Whampoa have their sights firmly set on the Scandinavian market", the news service writes.

The Council of State of the Republic of Finland states that it "(…) has agreed to support the proposed merger between Sonera and Telia. Sonera and Telia have today announced that it is in the best interests of their respective companies and shareholders to combine their businesses pursuant to a Combination Agreement entered into by the Boards of Directors of the Companies.

The merger will create the leading telecommunications group in the Nordic and Baltic region. In order to effect the merger Telia proposes to acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of Sonera through an Exchange Offer to be made to all of the shareholders of Sonera. In order to facilitate the merger of Telia and Sonera and to agree on certain matters following the completion of the Exchange Offer, the Republic of Finland and the Kingdom of Sweden have entered into a shareholders’ agreement. A summary of the main terms of the Shareholders’ Agreement is enclosed with this press release.

Source: The news service of the Nordic Council/Council of Ministers/The Finnish Ministry of Transport and Communications

20 March: Nordic report on child pornography on the Internet

"The Nordic countries place great emphasis on ensuring effective measures to combat child pornography on the Internet", states the Nordic Council of Ministers.

"On the initiative of the Committee of Nordic Government Officials, the Nordic criminal law expert group prepared a survey of the forums in which and the respects in which the question was already being treated today. The purpose of this survey is partly to evaluate the usefulness of a Nordic collaboration and partly to direct the work towards areas where there could be a need to implement Nordic initiatives.

The report is based on contributions from the respective countries regarding legislation, practical experience and national initiatives addressed towards combating child pornography on the Inter-net. The report also contains a general description of the most important international initiatives being carried out in the EU, the Council of Europe and the UN, or which are being prepared at present.

In view of the fact that there is considerable uniformity between the legislation in the Nordic countries on a number of relevant points, and that there is an extensive, ongoing exchange of information between the Nordic countries with regard to questions of law and law enforcement, and that the area is the object of great international attention, which reduce the need for Nordic collaborative projects, it is not considered that there is a need to prepare joint Nordic legislation.

Nord 2001:28
ISBN 92-893-0726-9
Pages: 172
Language: English/Danish
Price (VAT not incl.): 150.00 DKK

Read the report and/or order printed version.

Source: The Nordic Council of Ministers

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22 March 2002: European cinema on the increase - market share for US films drops again to 66%

"The European Audiovisual Observatory confirms 2001 as an exceptional year for European cinema: market share for US films drops again to 66%", the Observatory states in a press release.

"On the basis of available data, it can be confirmed that 2001 was an exceptional year for European cinema. Market share for American films fell to around 66% (compared to 73.7% in 2000 and 69.2% in 1999). Not since 1997 (65.8%) has there been a similar result. Four European films figure among the Top 20: Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain, Bridget Jones’s Diary and The Others all enjoyed successful careers on the majority of major European markets during 2001, while the German comedy Der Schuh des Manitu achieved 10.5 million admissions on the national market alone, but was also very successful in Austria and Switzerland.

The market share achieved by European films on the American market also showed an improvement at 4.5% as opposed to 3.6% in 2000. Nonetheless this market share is still less than those achieved by European films in 1999 (5.5%) and in 1997 (5.4%).

The European Audiovisual Observatory announces the update of its LUMIERE database on admissions to films released in Europe ( The database, available on-line and free-of-charge, is the result of collaboration between the European Audiovisual Observatory and various specialised national sources as well as the MEDIA Programme of the European Union. LUMIERE provides country-by-country analysis of admissions for almost 9400 films released in Europe since 1996. 2001 data for 14 countries is now available, including data for the major European Union markets and the United States".

Read the whole press release.

Source: The European Audiovisual Observatory

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