Arabic channel may replace RTL7

20th March 2007, Comments 0 comments

20 March 2007, AMSTERDAM – The General Programming Board (APR) in Amsterdam wants to include Arabic family channel Rotana Music Europe in the standard package of channels available in Amsterdam, Purmerend and Zaanstad.

20 March 2007

AMSTERDAM – The General Programming Board (APR) in Amsterdam wants to include Arabic family channel Rotana Music Europe in the standard package of channels available in Amsterdam, Purmerend and Zaanstad.

The board wants this to replace RTL7, which is struggling with low viewing figures. The programming board will submit this recommendation to cable operator UPC, Bart Robbers, chairman of APR, announced on Monday.

Viewers had the opportunity to give their opinion on the suggestion until last Friday. Robbers said that there were mixed reactions. Many viewers said they would miss the sports coverage on RTL7.

Robbers also said that UPC could easily solve the problem be adding one or two channels to the standard package. Then RTL7 would not have to be scrapped, and RAI Uno could be added as well.

Secretary of the APR Els van Loenen had said before the board's meeting on Monday that the APR felt that RTL7 added little value to the standard package. She said that the board would recommend replacing it with the Arabic language channel because of the composition of the population in Amsterdam and ten surrounding municipalities. The channel also makes the package of channels more diverse, in keeping with the Media Act.

UPC is not required to adopt the APR's recommendation, but Robbers pointed out that the cable operator has done so up to now.

Freedom Party PVV MP Martin Bosma posed questions in Parliament about the matter to Minister for Education, Culture and Science Ronald Plasterk.

The total standard package in Greater Amsterdam includes 31 channels, 15 of these are part of the basic package which the law requires. The discussion about RTL7 concerns the 16 non-basic stations included in the standard package, not the legally required 15 in the basic package.

Programming boards advise cable companies on the composition of these basic packages and monitor the diversity of channels offered.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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