Dutch public broadcasters to go mostly ad-free under new rules

Sports fans Dutch oranje television
Undated stock photo of Dutch sports fans watching a television.photo: Corepics / DepositPhotos

New rules around public broadcasting in the Netherlands means that the broadcasters will no longer be distributed before 8 p.m. The websites of the broadcasters will also go completely ad-free when the rules take effect, according to NOS.

The new strategy will be put forward by Arie Slob, the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education and Media. His letter to the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, was not yet released on Wednesday afternoon.

Compensation for a portion of the decline in ad revenue will be paid from the government's budget, NOS reported. The new rules affect all public broadcasters, but do not affect private commercial broadcasters like RTL, SBS, and Veronica.

Television channels NPO1 and NPO2 will continue operations similar to their current television schedules. However the NPO3 channel will showcase more work from regional channels instead of their youth-focused line up.

Public broadcasters that are membership-based will also need to hold a minimum of 50 thousand members to maintain their broadcast permit, wrote RTL Nieuws. That is a reduction from current rules that stipulate broadcasters need 150 thousand members.

The new threshold will likely help broadcasters Human (68,000 members) and WNL (50,000 members), but not controversial outlet PowNed. Launched in 2010, PowNed claims 25 thousand members.

NOS and NPR do not function under a membership scheme. The two broadcasters will be expected to collaborate more closely, a news item from NOS stated.