EBU slams Dutch government for PSB budget cuts
Editor | 10-10-2013
After an earlier €200 million cut imposed in 2011 to the budget of Netherlands Public Broadcasting (NPO), the European Broadcasting Union has condemned plans to shave a further €100 million as taking austerity too far.
The EBU is concerned that any further cutbacks will lead to what it describe as “harmful” knock-on effects on the Dutch creative industries, such as programme and film making.
”NPO has already launched a savings plan that includes scaling back the number of broadcasting organisations under its umbrella from 22 to eight in 2015, once the 200 million euro cut takes effect. The EBU believes that the measures tabled by the Dutch coalition government would severely weaken NPO, the country’s market leader in terms of radio and TV audience share, and undermine its position as the Netherlands’ most trusted broadcaster.
“NPO deserves credit for making radical reforms to absorb the last round of cuts while honouring its commitment to continue producing high quality, multiplatform programming,” said EBU president Jean-Paul Philippot.
“The Dutch government needs to realise that this proposal is excessive and should be dropped…While belt tightening is necessary, cutting €300 million from NPO’s budget – one third of the total – is akin to tightening a noose around its ability to serve the public properly…Cuts this deep will start a downward spiral that it will be near impossible to recover from, starting with a hit on the quality and variety of NPO’s output.”