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IRIS 2012-6:1/28

Netherlands

End of Public Broadcasters’ Monopoly on Programme Data

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Nick Kruijsen

Institute for Information Law (IViR), University of Amsterdam

On 10 April 2012 the Dutch government adopted an amendment to Article 2139 of the Dutch Media Act 2008, which makes programme data available by abolishing the monopoly held by public broadcasting organisations. The new Article 2139 of the Dutch Media Act 2008 will enter into force on 1 January 2013.

The amendment is based on the main conclusions set forth in a 2011 report by the Commissariaat voor de Media (Dutch Media Authority) initiated by the Ministerie van Onderwijs, Cultuur en Wetenschap (Ministry of Education, Culture and Science - OCW). The goal of the amendment is to liberalise the market for television and radio programme guides. The data needed from broadcasting organisations to establish a programme guide must now be publicly offered at a set market price. The Dutch Media Authority will determine and recalculate this price every two years. Prices for electronic and online programme guides will be set at a lower rate.

Each public broadcasting organisation shall provide the Nederlandse Publieke Omroep (Netherlands Public Broadcasting - NPO) with its programme data. The NPO will be in charge of distributing the programme data by signing contracts with other broadcasting organisations or other interested parties. Programme data shall be distributed among the contracting parties at least 6 weeks before the actual broadcasting.

The programme guide monopoly is a remainder of the traditional Dutch media landscape in which broadcasting organisations, often linked to political parties, churches and social movements, provided for their own programme guides. Subscribers to these guides automatically became members of the broadcasting organisations. Because the designation of air time is partly based on the number of members, the programme guides were of great importance.

References
Wijziging van onder meer de Mediawet 2008 in verband met aanpassing van de rijksmediabijdrage, beëindiging van de wettelijke taken van de Stichting Radio Nederland Wereldomroep en aanpassingen van meer technische aard NL
 http://merlin.obs.coe.int/redirect.php?id=15855
 
  Amendment to Article 2139 of the Dutch Media Act