5.3.7 Mass media
According to the present Danish Broadcasting Act, all TV and radio-stations require a license or a registration by the Danish Radio and Television Board.
DR, TV 2 Danmark A/S and the regional TV2 stations are all part of the Danish public service radio and television. By living up to the public service requirements, they obtain access to the nationwide broadcasting net and – except TV 2 Danmark A/S – a share of the income from the license fees. DR and the regional TV 2 stations each have a public service contract with the Ministry of Culture. TV 2 / Danmark A/S is, apart from the general law on corporations, regulated by Act nr. 103 28 January 2010 and a specific public service permission. This permission is active until 31 December 2013, and only concerns the main channel, TV 2.
In the public service contracts / license, the TV and radio-stations commit themselves to provide the Danish public with a broad selection of programmes and services including news coverage, information, education, arts, culture and entertainment. They also commit themselves to quality, comprehensiveness and multiplicity, and in programme planning, they are obliged to consider freedom of speech and to aim at objectivity and impartiality. Moreover, the public service TV and radio stations are obliged to consider Danish language and Danish culture.
The public service broadcasters each have specific quotas for news coverage, Danish drama and programmes for children, which they are obliged to follow. The public service broadcasters are also obliged to broadcast programmes on arts and culture, but there are no specific quotas that they must adhere to.
There are no ownership regulations. Concerning quotas on the share of foreign programming, Danish broadcasters only have to adhere to the EU-directives relating to a certain quota for European programmes (see the EU audiovisual media service directive). There are no regulations concerning the share of Danish programmes that must be broadcast, although the public service contracts and licenses include the request for consideration of the Danish language and culture.
Every fourth year, the different parties of the Parliament enter into a media agreement regulating the media area, including the contents of the public service contracts and licenses.
The present law within the area (from May 2010), along with the recent Act from 26 August 2009, concern, amongst other things, changes in the must-carry rules and the licence charges, and an agreement for broadcasting on non-commercial TV.
Recent / impending amendments
A departmental order on modernisation of license fees paid by viewers and listeners of Denmark Radio and TV (DR) (Bekendtgørelse nr. 210 of 4 March 2008) has been implemented by the Ministry of Culture.
In accordance with the Media Agreement, DR has launched two digital TV channels, one aimed at cultural material, and another aimed at children and young people. In addition, DR launched a channel that screens in HDTV format.
The new Media Agreement, for 2011-2014, focuses on quality and diversity. There are no plans to extend DR's supply of TV and radio channels, but rather to increase the quality of available channels. Included in these objectives is more focus on Danish art and culture and to play more Danish music on the radio channels (see more in chapter 4.2.6).