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First edition 1994

(Nordic Media from 1999)

  
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  Contents

Denmark   |   Finland   |   Iceland   |   Norway   |   Sweden   |   Nordica

  Welcome to Nordic Media News

The editions of Nordic Media News, Nordic Media from 1999 onwards, are available on the net. The newsletter is a summary of the contents of Medier i Norden: Resymé (Scandinavian languages news bulletin).

Nordic Media News 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 20 80 61                                 DK-1255 København K., Denmark

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

 

DENMARK 

Media policy 1997-2000 - Two new regulations 

The Ministry of Culture has made public two regulations. The one concerning radio and TV was made effective from 7 January 1994, while the other concerning advertising and sponsorships was made effective from 1 March 1994.

The regulations include the following innovations: 1) The DR short-wave radio programmes for Danes abroad are to be financed by licence rather than directly by the Government.

2) The Ministry of Culture may create rules for the use of sub-titles or similar measures for TV broadcasts for deaf and partially hearing.

3) Cases and documents concerning business aspects of DR and TV 2 are exempt from public inspection. In general, DR and TV 2 are not required to publicise documents that are related to programming.

4) Satellite and local radios are allowed to advertise non-prescription medicine.

The regulations concerning advertising and sponsorships contains, among other things, clarifications of the rules concerning advertising of non-prescription medicine.

HB

7,5 mill. DKK to local radios 

The new pool and lotto law has provided the Ministry of Culture with dramatically increased revenue thanks to wager-happy Danes.

The Minister of Culture, Ms. Jytte Hylden, has decided to make 7,5 mill. DKK of this money available to local radio stations. The Ministry is presently receiving applications from the fund.

The purpose of the fund is to support the running of local radio stations as well as experimentation, projects and initiatives, including activities for special target groups. For example, such groups include ethnic, language or other minorities. The fund may also be used for education and technical equipment. Furthermore, it is possible to obtain grants for media workshops in municipalities who are allowed to participate in local broadcasting.The administration of the fund is handled by the committee for local radio and TV according to directives from the Ministry of Culture.

HB

30 mill. DKK to films from Jutland? 

Jydske Film offers DR, TV 2, the Film Institute, the Film Distribution Centre and the Short Film Fund 17 films for a price of 30 mill. DKK. Jydske Film, which is a combination of an institution and an association, has gone through 135 film manuscript drafts written by Jutlandish authors. 17, all for fictional films, were converted to manuscripts during the summer and autumn of 1993. There was one manuscript for a full-length film and a number of manuscripts for short films.

The project was originally supported by the municipality of Århus through a grant of 300 000 DKK. Lars Arnfred, the Jydske Film project leader, is currently looking for financial backing in order to convert the manuscripts into films. The municipality of Århus has pledged to participate, but most of the money must come from private investors.

Source: Politiken/TF

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FINLAND 

Yle - new law 

A new law concerning the national broadcasting corporation in Finland has been in effect since the beginning of 1994.

The corporation's public responsibilities, administration and financing are clearly defined by the new law. The law emphasises the public aspect of broadcasting.

YLE does not require a separate concession any longer. The relationship between YLE and MTV has not been changed. According to the law, the public broadcasting must offer varied information and a number of differing views as well as discussion. YLE must provide services for minorities and special interest groups. Public broadcasting must also provide positive role models, support the education of the people and offer religious programmes.

The changes of YLE's administration are aimed to create a more business-like managerial style. For management, relevant broadcasting experience is supposed to be of greater importance than attachment to certain political parties. The Parliament will still elect the executive council, which consists of 21 persons elected for four years.

The executive council appoints the director for a period of five years. The company management is named by the director, and must represent experience from various society sectors, including the private and cultural sectors.

Differing ideological points of view should be presented. The Government must own at least 70% of the YLE stock, and the company will still be funded through licensing. Advertising will not be allowed, with the exception of specific situations where an exception from this rule has been granted. This year, the Ministry of Communications has already allowed advertising in connection with five major sports events. The permission to send advertising has been criticised by, among others, representatives of the press, who have maintained that the licence revenues should be sufficient for the broadcasting company. The broadcasting company management is replaced. Starting in April, Arne Wessberg will start his period as the new director. He has previously been the director of TV 2.

KK

New radio concessions 

The Ministry of Communications has received more than 100 applications for radio concessions. At the start of the year, the Ministry reminded local radios that their concessions expired at the end of June. At the same time, the Ministry asked all the applicants to send their applications to the Ministry.

On the one hand, the Ministry of Communications attempts to secure business possibilities for the current local radio station, and on the other hand, variety among radio stations is desirable.

Most of the applications come from radio stations currently in operation, in a number which is higher than 50, and they all want to continue operation. Some stations even want to extend their area or create a parallel channel. There are 50 brand new applicants. Among them, some are intended for special interest groups, like youth radio or country music radio.

The most interesting issue is whether a country-wide commercial radio concession will be granted. The English Classic FM bid attempts such as a station in the field of classical music and MTV Ltd. has applied for a commercial radio station under the provisional name Uutisradio. Until now, YLE has the only country-wide radio stations in existence. MTV has estimated that the channel should earn 30 to 40 mill. FIM per year through advertising and that the company should make a profit after a few years.

The intention is to change the rules for local radio concessions in order to make parallel broadcasts easier.

The Ministry of Communications intends to publicise their draft for concessions during the month of March. The issue then has to go through political handling. The concessions are granted by the Government. Last year, the total turn-over for all radio stations was 165 mill. FIM.

KK

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ICELAND 

Proposal for a new radio law 

As mentioned in NMN earlier, the radio law has since April 1992 been evaluated by a commission appointed by the Minister of Education. The commission was asked to suggest changes to the current radio law dating from 1985. The chairman of the commission has been Mr. Tómas Ingi Olrich, who is a member of the Parliament. The commission has now returned a proposal, that involves certain changes in the current law, to the Minister.

The proposal from the commission includes a special programme development fund to strengthen the development of Icelandic programmes. It will replace the culture fund for radio stations, which will be closed down.

It is the intention that the programme development fund will get its income from customs and/or other import excises on radio and TV sets and parts. The income of the culture fund is presently 10% of advertising income in electronic media.

Privately owned radio stations will be allowed to apply for grants directly from the programme development fund and the same is the case for independent producers if they have made an agreement with an electronic medium about production or completion of the material.

It will be possible for the Minister to announce how large a portion of the fund will be allotted to material published by RUV (the Icelandic public broadcasting.)..

According to the present law, Icelandic radio is obligated to have two radio channels and one TV channel. In the proposal, RUV is only obligated to have one radio channel for continuous broadcast throughout the year. RUV will thus be able to close one of the two radio channels if the proposal becomes the new law.

The proposal from the commission recommends that RUV should be divided into two independent departments, one for radio and one for TV, under common management by the RUV director. The director will appoint operational leaders for each of the two departments.

A new board of directors will be established to co-ordinate the two departments. It will consist of the RUV director, the operational leaders from the two departments and the chairman of the broadcasting commission. Employee representatives from the two departments will have the right to speak and make suggestions.

The main source of revenue for RUV has been from licences and from advertising. According to the present law, import excises on radio and television sets will also benefit RUV. However, RUV has only benefited from this source of revenue once, because the annual budget has specified that the revenue has been transferred directly to the state and not to RUV.

The proposal from the commission does not suggest that the licence will be abandoned, but it will be frozen for two years. It will allow the broadcasting company to obtain revenue by sale of advertising, but the import excises will not be continued as a source of RUV revenue and will rather, as mentioned above, be channelled to the new programme development fund.

According to the proposal, the operational connection between RUV and the Icelandic symphony orchestra will be terminated. Until now, the RUV part of the orchestra has been paid for by the culture fund, which, according to the proposal, will be terminated.

According to the current radio law, radio stations are required to file tapes of broadcasts for as long as 18 months. The proposal suggests that this time should be cut in half, and be 9 months.

The commission proposes that illegal reception of encoded programmes from TV stations, illegal production and sale of devices to decode encoded transmissions from TV stations and other misuse of encoded TV transmission, should be made punishable criminal acts that may be punished. Icelandic law has until now not covered such crimes.

SJ

Young people read more when they watch more TV 

An enquiry called "Youth 92" made by the pedagogical re institute in Reykjavik in co-operation with the ministries of Education and Justice, the sports and leisure council in Reykjavik etc. shows that the amount of literature read increases as young people watch more TV. The enquiry covered half of the pupils in 8th grade (13 year olds), all the pupils in 9th and 10th grade and 30% of the pupils in secondary school. The questions covered which books other than school-books were read.

The results showed that only 16% of those who never watched TV, read books for more than five hours a week. Of the youths who watch more than 25 hours of TV a week, 27% spend more than five hours a week reading books.

SJ

News exchange between Nordic countries 

RUV's TV participates in a news exchange scheme between the Nordic countries. Apparently, the idea for this came from the leader of the Icelandic news department. Pictures and films connected to the news are transmitted via satellite and Icelandic viewers have already seen news exchanged under this scheme.

SJ

Delay in transmission of live radio programmes 

A law proposal has recently come before the Parliament requiring all radio stations broadcasting live to use a delay system which makes it possible, for example, to stop defamation. Actually, such equipment has already been put to use by an Icelandic radio station called Bylgjan.

SJ

Slow start for relay transmissions 

The Icelandic broadcasting corporation has for some time transmitted programmes from eight foreign TV stations by relay and offered subscriptions to these programmes separately and/or as a part of the TV 2 subscription. As mentioned in NMN last year, there were quite a few applications to the broadcasting commission for grants to perform such relay transmissions. It looks like the interest for foreign TV programs is low among Icelandic viewers, because only 600 decoders to be used to decode relay transmissions, have been purchased.

SJ

Collection of excises from service firms 

STEF, an organisation dedicated to composers' rights, has recently sent a letter to several firms requesting payment of excises for the use of music by, for example, stores and service firms.

Their form of collecting excises has not been practised in Iceland previously, but STEF wants to introduce it. The STEF price list has been approved by the Minister of Education and has been made with reference to the copyright law. Some firm owners objected to STEF's suggested collection of excises. So far, no result has come from STEF's attempt to enforce the copyright law.

SJ

Young RUV employees 

The average age of RUV employees has increased from 41.3 to 42 years last year. The average age is still lower than for the colleagues at NRK, Norway (average of 44 years) and YL, Finland (average of 43 years). The highest average RUV age is found in the administration and the lowest among sports journalists.

Source: Frettabrev 6/93/TF

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NORWAY 

Knowledge database at the University of Bergen  

The Ministry of Culture has, in co-operation with Bergen University, decided to start a knowledge database in the media field, which can provide overviews of media organisation, structure and economy at regular intervals. Statistics about use of media and advertising will also be collected. The goal is to obtain improved and updated data about the media development in Norway.

NORDICOM Norway will be responsible for running the database, and the project has a life-span of three years. NOK 650 000 has been allotted for this purpose in 1994. NORDICOM Norway is currently entering information about all Nordic media re in the database.

ET

Much news on the radio front in Norway 

The radio sector in Norway underwent significant changes in 1993. The public service; NRK extended its offering with a new channel in addition to the two previous ones. At the same time, the three channels were given profiles to match their respective target groups.

Approximately at the same time, a country-wide commercial station started broadcasting. The new channel, P4, has enjoyed an enthusiastic reception from large groups of listeners, and has in a short time become the second largest radio channel after P1 of NRK. The channel can be received by about 66% of the population. By the end of 1995, 90% of the population will be able to receive the P4 programmes.

So far, it looks as if the smaller local radio stations are hit particularly hard by the increased competition on the air, and polls have shown that such stations have lost quite a few listeners. The radio sector has also complained that the introduction of P3 and P4 has caused technical problems for some smaller radio stations.

The changes in the radio sector has lead to increased interest for radio as a medium. Representatives of the public objected when familiar programmes were moved to a different channel or a different broadcasting time. Some NRK employees were also opposed to some of the changes introduced. There was also a debate about whether the programming profile of P4 really was in accordance with the conditions specified in the concession, requiring the radio to have a public broadcasting profile.

The Ministry of Culture has granted the concession for P4, and each year the company must submit a report to summarise last year's activities and present plans for the years to come. The yearly report will, among other things, provide information that can be used to evaluate whether the activities are in accordance with the conditions of the concession.

ET

Changes in the P4 owner structure 

When the Parliament discussed the white paper on Current media (no. 32, 1992-93), it was decided that up to one third of the stock in TV 2 and P4 radio could be owned by foreigners. Originally, the limit was set to 20%. This has lead to changes in the P4 owner structure. Malmship Ltd. has transferred some of its stock to Kinnevik Ltd. and the foreign ownership has thus increased from 20% to one third.

After the white paper on media had passed Parliament, some changes were made in the broadcasting law. They were made effective on 1 January 1994.

Up to 15% of the broadcasting time may now be used for advertising. The previous limit was 10%. The limit for advertising during one hour was increased from 15% to 20%.

Local radio and TV has previously paid an excise of 5% of the advertising revenue, which has been paid to a fund administered by the local broadcasting commission for local broadcasting purposes. This excise has been removed, and the owners of local broadcasting concessions have thus been given the same status as the country-wide broadcasting companies TV 2 and P4, who never had to pay the excise.

A new media commission has been established to handle media questions. The institution is founded on the previous commission for local broadcasting, but will be further developed and be assigned new tasks in addition to the ones handled by the previous commission. The new commission will, among other things, handle new applications for concessions for broadcasting and local broadcasting, and will take care of economical and administrative aspects of the press support.

The changes in the law also mean that the appeal board for broadcasting is extended from three to six members. The appeal board will now also be allowed to initiate issues.

ET

Action plan to prevent violence in media 

As a measure to counter the tendency towards increased violent crime, the ministries of Culture and Justice are preparing an action plan to reduce media violence. This will not be restricted to violence in film, video and TV, but also include computer games and other new media made available by new technology.

The current laws for film and video will be examined carefully, and issues under consideration will include the video concession system and age limits for cinema admittance. Furthermore, plans will be made for an attitude campaign among children and teen-agers. It is also desirable to have more systematic re on media violence.

In the autumn of 1994, an action plan which includes short- and long-time measures against media violence will be presented.

ET

Daily local TV 

NRK TV will start daily local TV broadcasts in northern Norway this autumn. The broadcasts will cover the counties Nordland, Troms and Finnmark, and Tromsø will be the broadcasting headquarters.

NRK will have correspondents in Vadsø, Alta, Bodø, Narvik and Mo i Rana. Later, the county of Nordland will be made a separate region. NRK TV already broadcasts local TV in the western part of Norway, covering the counties Hordaland and Sogn og Fjordane. The establishment of further regional local TV is dependent on increased licence revenue.

Source: NTB/TF

TV violence and the psychological health of children 

An extensive re project is currently under establishment in Norway. The goal is to re how violence and sex on TV and video affects the psychological health of children and youth.

Norske Kvinners Sanitetsforening (NKS), a Norwegian organisation for women has initiated the project.

The assistant general secretary, Ms. Vigdis M. Gjelsvik, says that while there have been a number of single studies in this field, this will be the first one to look into the entire problem complex.

Gjelsvik says that NKS will use the knowledge gained through the project to establish measures to counteract any undesirable developments. "We want to influence the producers of TV programmes to show more responsibility in their rendering of violence and sexuality," she adds.

The results will also be used in the internal attitude work among the 160 000 female members of NKS. The re project will have a duration of one year.

Media reer Ms. Ragnhild Bjørnebekk at the Police Academy in Oslo is the professional project leader. One sociologist and two graduate students at the institute for communication and media at the Oslo University also take part in the project.

NTB/TF

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SWEDEN 

There is room for two new TV channels 

It is possible to establish two new country-wide transmission networks in Sweden. This is made clear by a public report called "Technical conditions for further TV transmissions" (SOU 1994:34). Transmissions from one of the networks, "M4", may be received by 98% of the population, while the other network, "M5", may reach 85 to 95% of the population, depending on whether frequencies above channel 60 are used or not.

The transmission stations that may be part of the M4 and M5 networks may also be used for local or regional broadcasting.

As an alternative to the M4 and M5 transmission networks, it is possible to establish a transmission system concentrated in larger urban areas. If transmission stations which may be received up to 30 km away are used, three transmission stations may be established in at least 20 areas with at least 70 000 inhabitants.

The public report also discusses the possibility of digital TV transmissions. Digital technology may revolutionise the conditions for transmitting and receiving TV programmes. The report estimates that digital satellite TV broadcasts will start in Europe in 1995. It is possible that certain cable companies at approximately the same time will offer their subscribers digital TV programmes. During the last part of the 1990s, the telecommunication network may also be used for TV broadcasts, which, for example, may include pay-as-you-go TV.

The technical conditions for starting digital TV transmissions from terrestrial transmission stations will probably be available from 1996. One condition for significant terrestrial-based digital transmission must be that a political decision to do it is made. The report suggests that it is currently impossible to evaluate if and when digital terrestrial-based transmissions should be introduced. It is important that authorities make decisions concerning digital transmissions as soon as the consequences may be properly evaluated.

If the decision is not made before digital transmissions have been established through other channels, it may be too late to use terrestrial-based transmissions. The less analogue networks are extended, the more freedom will be available for later introduction of digital transmissions.

Commenting on the report, the Minister of Culture, Ms. Birgit Friggebo, says that she personally would like to see regionally based TV companies start broadcasting as soon as possible. The work of deciding on which conditions these broadcasts can be made, has already started. Before the summer, Ms. Birgit Friggebo will be able to present a departmental PM which clarifies which alternative solutions are possible.

LM

Suggested new authorities cause debate 

The Government has handed over a white paper to the Parliament with a proposition for new authorities for radio and TV to be introduced on 1 July 1994.

The proposition contains two new authorities for radio and TV to replace the four current authorities. The first of these two will handle broadcasting permissions and make sure that the rules for other aspects than programming are followed. The second authority will be responsible for enforcing rules concerning the contents of broadcasting. This includes use of advertising and the rules which are established in the agreements between government and certain broadcasting companies.

The proposal has resulted in a debate even before it was handed over to the Parliament. Certain commentators have expressed the concern that government intends to increase control of ether media, while others claim that all the current control of such activities will be abandoned.

In a comment, the Minister of Culture Ms. Birgit Friggebo emphasises that the suggested new authorities will have the same tasks as the current ones, but that the change means that the granting of concessions and the control of the contents of broadcasting in ether media are kept separate for each transmission form.

Another question under discussion is where the authorities should be located. The white paper makes it clear that one condition for the reorganisation to take place by 1 July 1994 is that the current authorities' premises in Stockholm may be used. Spokespeople for alternative locations, among them Sundsvall, have proposed that the new authorities be located outside the capital.

LM

Still high excises for local radio 

The local radio auction for southern and western Sweden took place on 6 December in Gothenburg. 21 concessions were granted in Gothenburg, Malmö, Lund, Helsingborg, Kristiandstad, Halmstad, Jönköping, Vaxjö and Borås. The excises were still high. The most expensive concession was one in Gothenburg, which went for 3.05 mill. SEK per year. The lowest concession in Gothenburg was 2.25 mill. SEK.

The least expensive concessions, 1 and 1.1 mill. SEK respectively, must be paid by the concession owners in Vaxjö. In Lund, there was a significant difference in amounts. One owner pays 2.35 mill. SEK while another got away with 1.2 mill. SEK. The local radio commission has announced another auction on 21 March 1994. Two new concession for Södertälje will be granted. The reason why these concessions have not been auctioned previously is that they have been brought before the appeal board.

The local radio commission has also asked Swedish Telecom to make available local broadcasting frequencies for an additional 15 areas.

When 57 local radio concession have been granted, a pattern of five networks and a number of independent stations emerges. Much is still unclear about the degree of co-operation. Many of the local stations are currently developing their regional news.

The five networks are Z-radio (Kinnevik) with 11 stations, RIX (Swedish radio development) with 14, Radio City (Svenska Dagbladet) with nine, Energy (NRJ) with three and Megapol (Bonniers) with four stations. Sixteen stations are not part of any programming network, even if they co-operate in various ways in the sale of advertising.

The build-up of networks has been criticised by some social democratic proposals in Parliament. The proposals claim that the granting of concessions has lead to a monopoly situation and demand that the laws should be re-evaluated.

LM

New law about illegal decoders 

The law which prohibits certain types of decoder equipment was put into effect from 1 January 1994. According to the law, it is illegal to make, hand over, rent, install or obtain decoding equipment which will make it possible for anyone illegally to have access to encoded radio or TV broadcasts that are offered on a subscription basis.

Experience from the practising of this law is still limited. Some reports indicate that some of the mail order business has been moved to Denmark.

LM

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NORDICA 

Nordic film in focus 

How can you get Nordic film audiences to be more interested in films from neighbouring countries? This is the question for a trio of seminars to be arranged in Norway and Sweden. The first step was made last year at Voksenåsen outside Oslo. Part two took place during the 17th film festival in Gothenburg in February, and the last step will take place during the Norwegian film festival in Haugesund on 26 to 27 August.

During the seminar in Gothenburg, a study of film distribution made by the culture journalist Mr. Håkan Lahger was presented. This was a result of a visit to Nordic film institutes and interviews with people in the business about how distribution support may be implemented. This spring, the Nordic Council of Ministers will examine how Nordic co-operation can be improved with regards to increased distribution of commercial and non-commercial film and TV productions.

Many people in the film business are critical to what they claim to be "desktop products" from the film institutes. This was made quite clear during the seminar. In the report from Lahger, for example, Klas Olofsson of Sandrews maintains that more money for support only means larger billboards and more expensive advertising, which only make the employees of the film companies happier.

The smaller distributors, like Valhalla in Finland and Folkets Bio in Sweden, disagree and claim that even a small amount of money could produce significant results.The conclusion of Mr. Håkan Lahger, which is shared by Ms. Marianne Möller, the chairperson in the Nordic Film and TV Fund, is that a radical re-distribution of the funds in this area must take place, with increased emphasis on film distribution.

The Gothenburg festival has focused on Nordic film for many years. This year the so-called GP price for the best rookie director was awarded for the sixth time. The recipient was Mr. Rikard Hobert, who also won the audience price.

TF

Nordic Council: Make possession of child pornography illegal 

Make the possession of child pornography illegal. This was the request from the Nordic Council to the governments of the Nordic countries during the last session in Stockholm. Today, possession is punishable in Norway, but not in Sweden and Denmark. The Council also asks the countries to increase the common effort among police and customs officials to prevent distribution of child pornography.

A heated discussion is presently on the agenda in Sweden. Several people have been apprehended in connection with a serious case where child abuse was being filmed. Material has been confiscated, but the police cannot do anything about those who buy the films. Shortly, the Parliament will consider whether possession of child pornography should be made a punishable crime.

The discussion is centred on whether the possession of child pornography can be said to interfere with freedom of speech. If this is considered to be the case, the Swedish constitution must be changed. The Nordic Council says it is possible to circumvent this by specifying that written or drawn of instances child pornography should not be covered by the law, which should only include forms where children have participated actively or passively.

Liberal laws in Nordic countries, except Norway, have made Sweden and Denmark distribution centres for child pornography to the entire world. For example, most of the child pornography confiscated in the USA originates from Nordic countries.

Source: NTB/TF

Report about TV in neighbouring countries 

There are no technical barriers that prevent distribution of TV programmes to neighbouring countries. This is one of the main conclusions in a report from the Nordic ministers of Culture to the Nordic prime ministers. The report is a result of work carried out by the steering committee for co-operation in culture and mass media in the Nordic Council.

During the Reine meeting in the summer of 1993 the prime ministers asked the ministers of Culture to evaluate how Nordic countries could receive TV programmes from neighbouring countries in a better way than is the case today. The prime ministers also wanted look into how the co-operation between national broadcasting corporations could be strengthened.

The report points out that the co-operation inside Nordvisionen has increased significantly in the area of common productions over the last few years, particularly through the grants from the Nordic co-production fund. The co-production possibilities can also be increased through co-operation inside the Nordic Film and TV Fund. Incentives for TV companies to buy more independent Nordic film should also be considered.

As far as technical improvements are concerned, the report points out that an extended offering might have to be based on some sort of public funding. Country-wide distribution of broadcasts from a neighbouring country through terrestrial-based transmission networks is not realistic. Satellite and cable distribution, and, in Iceland, use of microwave distribution, are possibilities that should be considered.

To a great extent, it will be the decision of the cable companies in the various countries how it is possible to co-operate about measures. Distribution on a cable network, or through privately owned satellite dishes are considered most suitable by the report, and should primarily be based on private initiatives on a commercial basis (see also the note about co-operation within the NSD framework).

Both when production and transmission of TV programmes are concerned, the steering committee points out that the political involvement should be limited to the legislative aspect. This includes the establishment of possibilities which may be exploited by Nordic partners in different sectors.

TF

Nordic satellite co-operation 

A common Nordic company for distribution and sale of satellite TV channels in the Nordic countries. This is the aim for the co-operation which has been established between four Nordic telecommunication companies. 2.4 million viewers can currently be reached, which is about half of the total Nordic satellite TV market.

Nordic Satellite Distribution (NSD) is the name of the company, which started with the Norwegian Telecom's Tele-TV Ltd. and its daughters in all the Nordic countries. NSD will develop and sell smart cards (TV cards) for decoders for distribution of TV channels both to private satellite dish owners and to cable companies in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark. One of the goals in the establishment of SND is to offer a broad Nordic TV menu. NSD has agreements with eight TV companies: TV 2, TV Norge, Eurosport, Discovery, CNN, MTV, Children's Channel and Filmnet. Negotiations are under way with TV3 and Swedish TV 1 and TV 2.

NSD aims at using sub-titles or dubbing of foreign broadcasts to adapt them to Nordic conditions as well as possible. It is a goal for NDS to counter the increased international competition on distribution of pay-as-you-go TV. A Nordic satellite TV market will make it easier for Nordic TV programming industry to be successful, NDS claim. The new company will rent transponder capacity from the satellite department of the Norwegian Telecom through the Thor and Intelsat satellites, both located in the position of one degree west longitude. This position gives equal and good coverage throughout the Nordic countries.

TF

Films about Hamsun 

This spring, Per Olov Enquist will write the manuscript to a film about the life of Knut Hamsun. The financing is complete and Bille August will be the director. Max von Sydow will play Hamsun and Ghita Nørby his wife Marie.

More about Hamsun: Henning Carlsen will entangle with the novel Pan, which will get co-Nordic financial backing. Northern Lights will be the main producer.

Aftenposten/TF


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