Saturday, October 01, 2011

New Media in Bonn

Stayed at a delightful hotel in the centre of Bonn a few days ago. Amazed at how the choice of channels has changed on the cable system in the hotel. There were dozens of German channels, followed by a complete bouquet of Arabic language channels, Al Jazeera English, BBC World News, RAI Italy - and that was it. No Dutch or Belgian channels at all any more, even though the border is not that far away.

Interesting to contrast this with new legislation being prepared in the Hague to force cable companies to increase the number of channels that HAVE to be put in the basic package of TV programmes on offer to subscribers. The Netherlands seems to be unique in requiring that the two Flemish public service channels are already part of the basic offering. Can't find examples of that elsewhere in the world (channels from a neighbouring country have guaranteed universal access in another). The two Belgian channels make up a a basic package of 15 channels at the moment. The minister will introduced a bill next month to make that 30 channels instead, including commercial channels from KPN, Canal Digital en Tele2.

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