The Liberal-Conservative government, under the pressure of the populists of the Danish People’s Party, imposes draconian economies on Danmarks Radio.
During an interview in the World, before the state visit of Emmanuel Macron in Copenhagen in late August, Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen, questioned on the links uniting his country to France, mentioned the Tour de France: a true Danish passion. “Only the Dutch are more likely than the Danes to watch the Tour on TV,” he said. Delighted, Mr. Macron promised, during a bike ride in the streets of the Danish capital, that the grand departure would take place in Copenhagen “in the next few years”.
An event, however, that will not be broadcast on Danish public channels. The government of Lokke Rasmussen has left no choice to Maria Rorbye Ronn, the patron of the Danish public broadcaster, Danmarks Radio (DR), forced to announce Tuesday, September 18, that it would not extend the retransmission contract of the Tour. Same thing for the Handball Champions League matches. This is the result of the historic slimming cure imposed on the group.
According to the agreement on public funding of media, adopted on June 28, by the Liberal-Conservative government, with the support of the populists of the Danish People’s Party (DF), DR will have to realize 773 million kroner (104 million euros) of savings per year, ie in total over the next five years, the equivalent of 20% of its annual budget. The opposition had slammed the door of the negotiations to protest sacrifices deemed “unacceptable”. In vain.
Entertainment, the most affected area
On Tuesday, September 18, Maria Rorbye Ronn presented a first restructuring plan, which should save 420 million crowns per year over the next three years. The cuts are drastic. By 2020, DR will broadcast only three of its six channels. Two will only be available online. Three of his eight radios will also disappear. In total, between …