AMSTERDAM — Dutch public broadcasters are under fire from the Culture Council, which advises on divvying up government subsidies for arts and culture.
The council, in a special report titled Culture: More Than Ever, says the partially subsidized pubcasters have failed to live up to self-imposed targets set when they were given their 10-year concession in 2000.
“The share of Dutch drama in programming has dropped where the goal was to have an increase,” the council points out.
The council also says the three channels that carry programming from the nine main pubcasters have not maintained a collective 40% audience share, that they do not have distinct profiles and are not working with each other enough.
In its severest criticism, the council took them to task for failing to gain back viewers lost to commercial channels.
Among other things, it has strongly recommended that funds which go to the pubcasters should be tied to whether or not they keep their commitments.
A new three-party coalition government, which finally formed last week following elections held in January, will consider the council’s report when it decides culture policy and subsidies for 2005-2008.
The pubcasters, which also get some income from advertising, have come under government scrutiny a number of times over the last decade for failing to keep pace with the competitive commercial climate.
Besides the nine main pubcasters, there are about two dozen more that all operate under an umbrella group, NOS.