Dutch basic tier to double to 30 channels

09.29 Europe/London, September 30, 2011 By Robert Briel

The basic package for Dutch TV platforms is to expand from 15 to 30 channels, argued Marja van Bijsterveldt, minister for the media, in her speech at the National Broadcasting Congress on Thursday, September 29.
The extended legally required basic package should accommodate all major public and commercial broadcasters.
The minister hopes that the extended tier will lead to fewer complaints from TV viewers and programme councils and also to fewer procedures with the regulator Commissariaat voor de Media and the courts.
Cable operators are now legally required to carry the three national public channels, Netherlands 1, 2 and 3, as well as local and regional public channels and two Flemish public broadcasters.
The regional programme councils can now recommend eight additional channels to make up the basic offer of 15 channels.
The minister also wants to impose the new rules on digital television providers, such as KPN, Tele2 and Canal Digital. “They also serve over 2 million households and also they have a social mission,” said the Van Bijsterveldt.
Next month Van Bijsterveldt will send a letter to the parliament with the proposed changes.