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Fourth quarterly edition 2003
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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).

NORDICOM (Nordic Information Centre for Media and Communication Re), based in Gothenburg, will be in charge of publishing Nordic Media from 2004 - see the main English page for further information.

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

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

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



22 December 2003: Danish cinema still has success at the box office

For the third year running admissions to Danish cinemas will reach the 12 million mark, and the market share for national films will account for more than 3 million tickets sold, a press release from the Danish Film Institute (DFI) states.

DFI estimates that the final figure for 2003 will be 12.5 million tickets, with 3.1 million admissions for Danish films. By comparison, in the 1990s the average annual box office was 9.9 million admissions, of which Danish films accounted for 1.8 million.

The year's releases demonstrated considerable breadth: of a total of 24 feature films no fewer than six were aimed at the children's and family market. 2003 is also the year in which Danish youth films returned to the cinema, according to DFI's figures. The DFI estimate of 3.1 million admissions for national fare will account for 25 percent of the total box office. By comparison with other European countries the share of the market enjoyed by Danish films is impressive. Last year Denmark was only beaten by France with its national market share of 33 percent achieved on the basis of 200 features as opposed to Denmark's 19!

While some other markets have seen a decrease at their box office, the fact that this has not extended into Danish territory is primarily due to the high market share enjoyed by national films. Indications are that 2004 may turn out to be an excellent year for Danish film even though in the first six months we will feel the results of the break in Danish film production occasioned by the long wait for the media agreement, the government's film agreement as well as the agreement between the producers and the TV broadcasters; a break that has already been noticeable this autumn, according to the press release.

Source: The Danish Film Institute

21 December 2003: DR continues its DAB build-up

The public service broadcaster DR (Danmarks Radio) and Broadcast Service Danmark have signed a contract comprising the construction of a new DAB network (Digital Audio Broadcasting). The new DAB network is divided in two regions; east and west of Lillebćlt (the Little Belt), according to the DR newsletter.

The first DAB network that was built in Denmark is now almost covering the whole of the country and consists of eight digital DR radio channels. The regional network will have the same capacity in terms of channels.

As a result of the Government's Media Agreement and the public FM-auction of last summer, Sky Radio and Talpa (Radio 100 FM) will also transmit their FM programmes via DAB, when the new regional network is completed in October 2004. By then, 25 per cent of the capacity in both networks used by DR will be given to the two commercial radio channels.

In 2003 DR has offered eight digital radio channels to the listeners. When the transmissions started, approximately 3000 Danes had a digital radio, now the number of digital radios in use has risen to 10000, DR’s newsletter reports.

Source: DR's newsletter

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17 December 2003: Digital distribution network to be extended in Finland

YLE, the Finnish public service broadcasting corporation, says in a press release that YLE's Administrative Council has authorised the company's operative management to start negotiations with Digita Oy on extending the terrestrial digital distribution network to cover the whole of Finland.

The Administrative Council granted the company's operative management powers to conclude an order agreement on the extension of the network. The authorisation to conclude an agreement also requires the commercial operators to commit themselves to the project.

The nation-wide digital distribution networks on two multiplexes would be technically available from late autumn 2005. After the extension, the network would cover 99.9% of the Finnish population apart from the Aland Islands. Dead areas possibly occurring even after the supplementing of the network (an estimated 2,000 - 3,000 households) would be covered with several dozen local low-output subtransmitters.

Digital television programmes are now distributed in the terrestrial network via a total of ten stations in three multiplexes. At present, the terrestrial network covers approx. 72 per cent of the population. Digital television programmes can also be viewed in the cable networks in built-up areas.

The digital network is currently being extended as agreed by the television operators last summer so that, in August 2004, approx. 94 per cent of Finns will be covered by digital television distribution.

Source: YLE Communications

8 December 2003: Working group: Finland will switch over to digital television in 2007

A parliamentary working group proposes that all television broadcasting in Finland be digital as of 31 August 2007, according to the Ministry of Transport and Communications.

The starting point of the proposal is that all Finns will have an opportunity to access digital television services at reasonable cost and without difficulty in good time before the switching. The working group expressed a wish that the construction of the digital distribution network be accelerated so that the entire country would be covered by the autumn of 2005.

In 1999, Government proposed the year 2006 for the switching-over time. The working group is of the opinion that a little longer period is necessary.

It emphasises that it is expensive to use overlapping transmission technologies. The money is more wisely spent increasing and diversifying the range of services. This would also reduce the pressure to raise the television fee.

According to the working group, special attention must be paid during the switching-over period to user-friendly services and adequate information.

The group regards it very important that in the beginning of 2004 the Finnish Government will make a clear and final decision about the switching-over time. It also hopes that the Government would grant new digital licences.

Ms Leena Luhtanen, Minister of Transport and Communications of Finland, considers the working group’s proposal good. She presumes that the Government will make a resolution on the switching-over time in February 2004.

Source: The Ministry of Transport and Communications

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1.12.2003: Nordurljós experiments with transmissions of television via satellite

Icelandic media company Nordurljós has recently carried out trials comprising transmissions of television programmes via satellite.

The aim is, among others, to find a profitable solution to the problem of distributing Nordurljós' television programmes to the whole of the Icelandic population. Foreign satellite owners participate in the project, and if results seem to be good enough, it is quite possible that this will be the right solution for Nordurljós.

Nordurljós' director Sigurđur G. Guđjónsson says that the project still is in its infancy, but that it is quite clear that digital transmissions will be carried out in the near future.

To find a digital distribution system for Nordurljós' television programmes has been the ultimate goal for the company for quite some time.

Source: Nordurljós

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22 December 2003: Norwegian appeals court acquit "DVD-Jon" Lech Johansen

According to the newspaper Aftenposten, the entertainment industry is disappointed by a Norwegian appeals court decision that has acquitted 'DVD-Jon' Lech Johansen. The Motion Picture Association called on Norway to toughen laws governing intellectual property.

"Entertainment industry giants including the Motion Picture Association had asked Norwegian prosecutors to file charges against Johansen after he helped create and publish a program that cracked DVD copy protection codes. The prosecutors obliged, but now have lost at both the local court and appeals court levels.

The association referred to Johansen as a 'serial hacker,' and claimed his actions are 'damaging to honest consumers everywhere'", according to Aftenposten.

"Johansen's lawyers, meanwhile, have argued successfully that their client merely cracked the DVD copy protection code in order to view 'his lawfully purchased DVDs on a DVD player that is not approved by the Hollywood movie studios.'

They claim Johansen has prevailed because he 'accessed his own DVD' that he had purchased, that is, his own property, and did not commit any copyright infringement", Aftenposten writes.

Source: Aftenposten

16 December 2003: Digital terrestrial television network to be debated in the Parliament in February 2004

The parliamentary debate regarding the construction of a digital terrestrial television network has been postponed to 26 February 2004, a month later than originally planned.

According to a press release from Norges televisjon as, NTV, the only company that has applied for a licence to build and maintain a digital terrestrial television network in Norway, the cause is a heavy workload on the members of the Parliament before Christmas.

"The delay is not good news", says Tor Fuglevik, Director of NTV. "Our timetable concerning the work to finish preparations for the construction was strained already".

NTV is a joint venture between the public broadcasting company NRK and the commercial broadcaster TV 2, and the company hopes that by 2008 digital terrestrial television will be available to all Norwegians. Today, approximately one third of the Norwegian households have access to digital television via satellite or cable television.

Source: Norges televisjon

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19 December 2003: Licenses to transmit in the digital terrestrial television network has been prolonged

The Government has decided to prolong all the licenses for transmissions in the digital terrestrial television network (DTT), the television company TV4 announces in a news release.

TV4 writes that the company today has four channels in the Swedish DTT. The Government also decided to give TV4 a new license, for a film channel, probably on the air during the first half of 2004.

Source: TV4

1 December 2003: Five Swedish films in the top 10

Swedish films continue to enjoy considerable success at home, according to a press release from the Swedish Film Institute, SFI. Of this autumn's fifteen feature films, eleven have so far been released. The last week in November, five of these were in the top ten list of box office hits.

The films in question are Mikael Hĺfström's Evil (Ondskan), which has now been in the list for ten weeks, The Third Wave (Den tredje vĺgen) by Anders Nilsson, Daybreak (Om jag vänder mig om) by Björn Runge, Ulf Malmros' Slim Susie (Smala Sussie) and Let’s Play House (Mamma, pappa, barn) by Kjell-Ĺke Andersson. Now in its twelfth week in the list, Daniel Lind Lagerlöf's Miffo (pictured above) has so far been seen by almost half a million cinemagoers, according to the press release.

Source: The Swedish Film Institute

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22 December 2003: NORDICOM publishes the Nordic Media Market 2003

The Nordic Media Market 2003 is the seventh publication in the Nordic Media Trends series, and examines the media markets in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. Focus is on the major media companies operating on the Nordic arena, and on ownership in both regional and national perspectives.

NORDICOM (Nordic Information Centre for Media and Communication Re), based in Gothenburg, is the publisher of Nordic Media Market 2003.

The volume offers information on the top 25 Nordic media companies: Economic data, main media activities, geographic diversification and company structure. Moreover, the publication includes commentary and analysis on four media markets - newspapers, consumer magazines, radio and television with regard to important features of, and changes in the media structure and structure of media ownership. The analyses are accompanied by statistics for each of the media.


3 November 2003: Digital culture

The Nordic culture ministers have decided to prioritise both the digital and multicultural society in 2004. They have earmarked DKK 2 million for projects related to the multicultural Nordic Region and DKK 4.6 million for three digital media projects.

The National Museum of Antiquities in Stockholm is to produce a platform for mobile telephony, in particular providing news services via mobile phones.

The Nordic Centre for the Performing Arts (NordScen) will create an interactive web forum for artists and the public to exchange ideas, while NIFCA (the Nordic Institute of Contemporary Art) will invest all its energy in an art relay on television. Nordic artists will be invited publish their works directly on TV 24 hours a day for a whole month.

The works of art will be presented in real time.

Source: The Nordic Council of Ministers

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