Norway spared channel free-for-all
Published: 10.31 UTC, February 21, 2011 by Julian Clover

Norwegian platform operators will not be forced to offer subscriptions to individual channels, following a new report presented to culture minister Anniken Huitfeldt.

The committee led by special advisor Helge Sønneland said it was uncertain whether any regulation would have the desired effect on price, quality, freedom of choice and diversity. Norway has historically given viewers the opportunity to ‘choose’ which channels should be positioned in basic cable packages, though there has been criticism from all sides that the process was open to abuse.

It was proposed that open solutions be considered for the reception of internet-based TV and a television portal be established to increase consumer knowledge of the TV market. The committee also suggested that its work be extended through the establishment of a permanent group with the task to monitor the development and competition in the television market.

Sønneland’s committee also included TV 2, NRK, MTV, Schibsted, MBL, Get, Telenor, Viasat/MTG, RiksTV, Altibox, Forbrukarombodet (Consumer Ombudsman), Forbrukarrådet (Consumer Council), Konkurransetilsynet (Competition Authority), the Post and Telecommunications Authority and rights organisation Norwaco.