Scandi board pushes for digital standard

STOCKHOLM — The directors of public broadcasters for Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark voted at an annual meeting Monday in Stockholm to push forward on plans to launch a common digital platform for all public broadcasters and state commercial charters across all four territories.

The directors voted to invite Finnish hardware manufacturer Nokio to tender for the set-top boxes required to standardize digital across the Nordic territories and to invite Nordic telecoms to several meets this summer to discuss channel distribution.

The meeting was attended by Swedish Television’s (SVT) director general Sam Nilsson; Arne Wessberg, general manager for YLE in Finland; Einar Foerde, director general for NRK in Norway; and Christian Nissen, general manager for DR in Denmark.

The directors meet yearly to discuss state broadcast policy across Scandinavia and Finland.

Nilsson told Daily Variety the common digital standard would give most Nordic viewers access to the digital landscape and at the same time allow pubcasters and state commercial charters to “take control of access and distribution of their programming.” He added that state channels did not want to become just passive content providers “standing at the digital gateway.”

If all goes as planned, SVT will begin launch of as many as six digital channels, including a news and gold channel, beginning in the spring.

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