Dutch pubcast remedy

Dutch opposition party D66 has floated a plan to restructure the country’s ailing pubcasting system.

In a report entitled “In Search of the Public,” D66 said one of the current three public nets should be stripped of all commercials and be wholly funded from the public purse.

D66 split from the right-wing VVD party in the ’60s and is expected to form part of the next Dutch government.

‘Cultural’ funding

It says the other two networks should be able to claim public monies for “certain programs of a cultural interest but otherwise should fund themselves through advertising and sponsorship.”

At present, all three public nets, whose collective market share has slipped to around 50% in recent years, carry ads booked and coordinated by sales house STER. They also receive income from license fees and membership clubs.

D66 says its proposed changes would shift the system’s emphasis from “public broadcasting to public programs” and would make for greater efficiency and higher standards. It claims the Dutch pubcast system is “the most commercial in the world.”

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