Public broadcasters to cut sport, amusement and human interest shows

The Dutch public broadcasters will reduce their spending on sport, amusement shows and human interest programmes in order to meet new government spending targets, the NRC reports.

The broadcasters have drawn up a list of five priorities, public broadcast chairman Henk Hagoort said on Thursday afternoon.
This means most programming will focus on journalism, Dutch language drama and documentaries, children’s programmes and ‘knowledge, culture and events’.
The government is cutting spending on public broadcasting by €300m from 2014.
Hagoort did not say which programmes would be for the chop but the public broadcasters have been criticised in the past for spending money on reality tv shows like Farmer wants a wife.
In December, junior culture minister Sander Dekker said the government is planning to overhaul the way public broadcasting in the Netherlands is funded altogether.
At the moment, the public broadcasting system is funded by the state and by advertising. Television companies such as Vara and Tros have a specific religious, political or social slant and their airtime is allocated according to how many members they have.
Under the new system, funding will be allocated on the basis of programme quality, not membership numbers, Dekker said. ‘We will shift from a system of ‘every member counts’ to ‘every viewer counts’,’ Dekker said. ‘The quality of programmes will be paramount.’
In addition, funding will be withdrawn totally for religious broadcasters such as the Catholic RKK and Buddhist programme maker Bos.

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