Dutch PSBs pull plug on 5 digital channels

On December 31, the Dutch public broadcasters will pull the plug on five of their 17 digital television channels currently distributed over cable networks nationwide.

The evangelical channel Omega TV (EO), the educational channel Nederland E (RVU-Teleac/NOT), nature channel Dier & Natuur TV (AVRO) and the alternative music channels 3voor12 Central (VPRO) and 3voor12 On Stage (VPRO) are set to go.

The end of the two music channels from VPRO is remarkable, as they were the first thematic channels from public broadcasters in the country. They will continue as web TV channels, but will no longer be available for cable distribution.

There has been widespread criticism about the fact that the PSBs launched so many channels making life difficult for private initiatives. Also, cablers complained they had to take all 17 channels and could not pick the best ones.