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Swedish Government Proposal Promotes Digital

The ‘Culture and Accessibility’ bill outlines aspects of digital transition

In Sweden, the bill “Culture and Accessibility – Public Radio and Television 2014-2019” (Prop. 2012/13:164) contains proposals for digital transition guidelines for the three public broadcasting services, Sveriges Television, Utbildningsradion and Sveriges Radio for the period of 2014 to 2019.

The legislation covers income reporting, program diversity, and other aspects of broadcasting impacted in the long and short term by the transition to digital broadcasting.

According to media advisor Christer Hederström, there will be no extra state funding to finance the build-up of a DAB+ transmission network or for content production for additional public radio channels in a DAB multiplex.

“Sveriges Radio will therefore have to come up with the money (through its present budget and potential loans) to cover the parallel transmission costs of FM and DAB,” said Hederström. “The total cost is estimated at €140 million for a nine year period.”

The bill also indicates that changes to the current system should be market driven, and establishes a tentative timeline of 2022 for a possible switchover, which should be evaluated regularly by the Swedish Radio and TV Authority (Myndigheten för radio och tv), for transition from FM broadcasts to terrestrial digital radio. The authority has been assigned to find a separate technical solution for community radio.

The Swedish parliament will decide on the bill in September or October 2013.