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Fourth quarterly edition 2002
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  Welcome to Nordic Media

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.



26 November 2002: First time ever; Danish "Unit One" wins EMMY Award

Monday night November 2002 the Danish television series "Unit One" won the prestigious international EMMY Award in New York for best drama series - the first time ever for a non american/british country, according to a press release from Danmarks Radio, DR.

"Unit One" is DR TV’s latest drama production. The series (30 x 1 hour) is based on authentic criminal cases. In Denmark the series has had a viewing share of 68,4% - total for all 30 episodes on Sundays at 8 p.m.

DR TV International Sales expects it to be one of the best selling series in the future.

See video presentation from DR TV (Real Player).

Source: DR TV

4 November 2002: Political agreement on film financing

The Danish film industry will get DKK 200 million extra during the next four years, which should result in 80 – 100 feature films and approximately 170 – 180 short and documentaries, according to a press release from the Ministry of Culture. In addition, funding for young and talented newly educated directors wil be established. A new film archive, for preservation of nitrate film, will be opened in 2006 as a result of the agreement.

In all, DKK 1775 million will be channelled via the state budget, Danmarks Radio and TV 2 during 2003 – 2006.

"The agreement builds on the success of Danish films at home and abroad, and creates a more flexible framework for the film and movie business, making both cheap dogma-films, traditional Danish features and more expensive internationally based films possible", comments the Minister of Culture, Mr. Brian Mikkelsen.

The daily newspaper Politiken writes: "The two public service companies Danmarks Radio and TV 2 will bear the brunt and deliver most of the new extra money, which is supposed to secure a continued expansion of the Danish film industry. … In the film industry there is satisfaction with the agreement, while the public service companies accepts the agreement without excitement."

Source: Ministry of Culture/Politiken

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10 December 2002: A proposal for a national information security strategy unveiled

Information security through cooperation and precautions - a proposal for a national information security strategy unveiled

The aim of the national information security strategy is to bring the Finnish society into line with information security. A goal is a society, in which everyone can trust and where information can be safely managed and distributed to all parties. In order to achieve this aim, focus must be on international and national cooperation; support of social development and competitiveness; development of information security risk management, protection of the basic rights of individuals and other actors; and promotion of information security awareness and skills. The aim is set to be achieved by 2010.

On Monday, 9 December 2002, the Information Security Advisory Board assigned by the Government submitted its proposal for a national information security strategy to Mr Kimmo Sasi, Minister of Transport and Communications.

The strategy is a common view of the leading Finnish actors in the field about how information security should be promoted in Finland. On international scale, the strategy is the first proposal that concerns nation-wide information security. The strategy will be confirmed by the Government, which is also responsible for it.

When receiving the proposal, Minister Sasi emphasised that every individual and company should prepare for information security risks. Precautions and all actors’ involvement are needed. The most important aspect of this work is to increase the information security know-how among experts and citizens. Minister Sasi told that the Act on data protection in electronic communications prepared at the Ministry of Transport and Communications will clarify responsibility issues in the field. The government bill will be sent out for comments on Friday, 13 December, and will be submitted to the new Parliament next spring.

The information security strategy presents the aims and dozens of measures to achieve them. Information-secure society is built through cooperation of various actors, and the responsibility for actions is shared. The Information Security Advisory Board acts as a cooperative body, monitors the implementation of the confirmed strategy and regularly makes suggestions on how to update the strategy.

Source: The Ministry of Transport and Communications

18 November 2002: A digital television network licence to Digita Oy

The Finnish Government has granted a digital television network licence to Digita Oy. The licence entitles to use and manage three multiplexes. The licence-holder is responsible for programme providers’ services, and manages the required equipment and programmes.

Altogether three network licences were open for applications. Besides Digita the applicants included the Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE, MTV Oy and Swelcom Oy. Mr Kimmo Sasi, Minister of Transport and Communications, says that entitling one operator, Digita, to manage all three multiplexes promotes the goals of the Communications Market Act and encourages the use of digital television.

According to Minister Sasi, Digita expressed the most interest to develop new, technologically advanced services, in addition to programmes. Furthermore, it has the relevant experience of quality assurance. Since Digita does not provide programmes itself, it can offer its services to all programme providers under equal terms.

Digital radio network licences the Government granted to Digita and Telemast Nordic Oy. Granting the network licences to two applicants is regarded to promote competition in regional digital radio network in the region of Uusimaa.

The network licences are valid until 31 August 2010. New licences will become open for application once spectrums from analogue use come available.

Source: The Ministry of Transport and Communications

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16 December 2002: Americans have a chance to learn Icelandic on TV

The base for the Icelandic language might be broadened a bit, if the new programme to teach Icelandic on American TV is a success, according to Daily News from Iceland.

The programme will be broadcast on US educational channel Scola from January 2003.

"American Mike Handley, who has lived in Iceland for several years and runs the English Language Centre, managed to get the TV channel interested in the Icelandic programme seven years ago, but didn’t receive any funding from the Icelandic government to make the teaching series.

It wasn’t until Handley met up with producer Jón Hermannsson of Tetra Films that the wheels began to turn and 20 episodes have now been made. The series will also be shown weekly on Icelandic state television, RÚV", writes Daily News from Iceland.

"According to Hermannsson, it has been very difficult to get funding for the project, but he is optimistic that it will be possible to recoup some of the 17 million ISK that has been invested. Handley, who will get nothing for his role in the project, says he expects nothing in return, "except a little gratitude".

Source: Daily News from Iceland

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18 December 2002: Telenor new principal owner of Utfors, as agreement is given approval

The agreement between Telenor and Utfors AB has been given final approval by the Swedish Competition Authority and today's extraordinary General Meeting of Utfors. The transaction sees Telenor becoming the main contender in the Swedish market for business communications. The integrated company will have Norwegian CEO and Norwegian Chairman, according to a press release from Telenor.

Telenor concentrates its business market activities in Sweden in one new company, consisting of the integrated Telenor Business Solutions AB and Utfors AB. The integration planning has been in progress on different levels within the companies, creating the foundation for a swift and smooth integration, the objective being that all parts of the new organisation is ready shortly.

"Utfors' position as a contender and innovator in the Swedish broadband market, from start-up to the listing on the stock exchange, has been built up impressively by Jan Werne over the past years. Utfors' unique infrastructure and competence within data communications, complemented with Telenor's strong position, give us exciting opportunities, says Jan-Edvard Thygesen, new chairman of the board for Telenor's business market activities in Sweden.


22 November 2002: Video-consumption reach new heights

The Norwegian video industry grows bigger and bigger by the minute. Film consumptions reaches new heights in Norway, according to FILM&KINO.

FILM&KINO is an organisation that develops and promotes the film- and cinema industry in Norway. The aim of the organisation is to maintain the Norwegian municipals commitment to film, cinema operation and video activity.

The organisation administers the Norwegian Cinema and Film Foundation, as well as operating The Ambulatory Cinema (mobile cinema) and running the periodical Film & Kino. .

During the Video days, organised in the weekend of 13.-15. September, approximately one million Norwegians consumed video-rentals. That's nearly a quarter of the Norwegian population!

800 000 videos were in circulation this particular weekend in September. The average number of people who rent videos during a normal weekend is 150 000; during the Video days at total of 300 000 people rented films. - This shows the potential of such campaigns, and the potential of audience development in this sector, says Erik Zmuda, Video Consultant for FILM&KINO.

The most active film consumers are young people from 15-29 years of age. 17 % of the total of this age group, 140 000 people, were active video consumers the weekend of the campaign. This numbers correspond closely with the numbers for cinema consumption, concludes Bengal Consulting, who carried out the re in connection with the Video days, FILM&KINO states.


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12 December 2002: New analysis of media concentration

Mapping and analysis of the Swedish media market from a competition perspective. That is the task given to the Competition Authority by the Government, according to a press release form the Ministry of Culture.

The report should take into consideration economic or commercial activities, consisting partly of all aspects of broadcasting, partly of activities involving publishing and distribution of newspapers and magazines. The analysis should be aimed at uncovering the competition conditions prevailing on the media market today, and whether there is any risk of activities damaging the free competition in the future. The Competition Authority has to finish the report by 3 November 2003.

The task reflects the Government’s aim for the media policy; among other things to aspire for plurality in the media sector. Plurality implies that the aim is a broad base for media ownership, in order to counteract a concentration of ownership and power in the media sector. Such a concentration might do damage to a free and broad exchange of opinions and free and diverse information, according to the press release.

Source: The Ministry of Culture

7 November 2002: TV4 to start a new TV channel

Prospects loook good for TV4, according to a press release:

* Third-quarter revenues rose by seven per cent to SEK 460 million.
* Third quarter earnings were SEK 40 million before extraordinary items, compared with SEK -8 million the previous year.
* TV4's share of the TV advertising market continued to increase in the third quarter.
* TV4 regained its place as Sweden's most-watched TV channel in September and October.
* A government report on TV4's future franchise fee payments is to be presented in January 2003.
* TV advertising is showing signs of increasing in the fourth quarter, albeit less than in Q3.
* TV4 has decided to start a new channel, to be called TV4 plus.

The full report including tables can be downloaded from the following link:

The launch of the new channel, TV4 plus is an important step for TV4 in its move to become a multi-channel company. TV4 plus will offer programmes in three segments: leisure, entertainment (ranging from films to quiz shows), sport and gaming.

There will be a wide range of exciting and in-depth leisure programmes across a broad spectrum of interests, such as hunting, shooting and fishing, motor sports, riding, golf and food. Sport and gaming will also be an important part of the channel, offering sports news and major live events from Sweden and abroad.

The new channel is expected to report a limited loss the first year of operation and reach breakeven the second year.

Source: The press service of TV4

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20 December 2002: Commission opens proceedings into joint selling of media rights to the English Premier League

The European Commission has sent a Statement of Objections to the English Football Association Premier League (FAPL) over the joint selling of the media rights to Premier League matches, according to a press release from the European Commission.

Joint selling is tantamount to price-fixing, which could only be exempted if the restrictions of competition were strictly necessary to ensure the legitimate goals pursued by the arrangements for example solidarity among clubs - and if they resulted in benefits for other interested parties, in particular football fans. These same considerations have led the Commission in June to reach a preliminary positive view on the modified rules of UEFA for the joint selling of the media rights to the final stages of the Champions League.

The European Commission in June 2001 opened an investigation on its own initiative into the joint selling of media rights to the English Premier League. A year later, i.e. in June 2002, the Premier League notified its Regulations concerning the joint selling of the commercial rights to the Premier League and requested clearance under European Union competition rules.

The Premier League sells packages of media rights on behalf of the League clubs to television companies in Britain and Ireland on an exclusive basis. Under the arrangements, clubs are prevented from selling any rights on their own, even those that are not included in the packages. In practice, this means that currently only 25% of the Premier League matches are broadcast live" according to the press release from the European Commission.

Source: European Commission

18 December 2002: IT good for democracy

The Nordic countries are ahead of the rest of the world when it comes to information technology, according to a report from the Nordic statistical offices which were commissioned by the Nordisk Council of Ministers to conduct a survey of IT use in Norden.

Some 90% of Nordic citizens have access to a cell phone, over 70% have a computer and just over 60% have Internet access at home. Between 72-76% said they have used a PC recently. No major gender gap was identified as far as use of IT is concerned and only small age differences. Both young and old - from 16-74 - say that they use some form or other of information technology.

"IT is not a magic wand that will solve all society’s problems. It is a tool with which to free up resources. In the care sector, for example, the use of IT for administrative purposes frees resources for actual care. The Internet has also given rise to a whole new way of influencing political processes. Decision-makers are just a mouse click away. In that sense, IT is good for democracy," says Thomas Adelskov, Danish Social Democrat MP and vice-chair of the science committee in the Danish parliament.

However, it seems that Norwegian business lags behind in IT, when the details of the report are taken into consideration.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (more than ten employees) have access to a PC, compared to 98% in the other Nordic countries.

In total, only 81% of Norwegian employees have Internet access, compared with 95% in Sweden, which emerged best from the survey. The figure is 94% in Iceland and Denmark. The retail, hotel and catering industry came bottom, banking and finance top.

Norway also has the fewest company websites. In Sweden, 78% of companies have their own website, compared with only 55% in Norway. Norwegian sites are usually used to present the company. Norwegian shops, hotels and restaurants are the worst in Norden at presenting themselves on the Internet

Source: Nordic Council & Nordic Council of Ministers

4 November 2002: Focus on digitalisation

The ministers of culture have reached agreement on how to allocate next year's strategic cultural fund of DKK 6.4 million. In 2003, DKK 4.4million will be spent on projects concerned with Nordic digital content production while the remaining DKK 2 million will be allocated to projects within the field of multiculturalism.

'This is an agreement everyone can live with, even though some people aren't satisfied,' commented the Norwegian minister of culture, Valgerd Svarstad Haugland.

Denmark declined to vote, and this allowed the ministers to reach agreement on how to allocate the funds available. The Danish minister of culture, Brian Mikkelsen, disagreed with the other ministers regarding the focus on multiculturalism in 2003. 'Since 1997 the group has continually supported multicultural projects. The cultural sector needs to be more innovative and dynamic. The Danes would like to have a discussion about how to prioritise these funds in the future,' said Mikkelsen.

Source: Nordic Council of Ministers

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