Dutch regional TV stations to go on satellite

Regional Dutch public broadcaster RTV Noord, based in Groningen, says that its TV service, and those of other regional public broadcasters in the Netherlands, will be available on satellite by the end of 2006, when the terrestrial analogue service ends. The regional stations had expressed their concern about losing viewers, and after discussions with the government, the provincial governments and KPN, it has been agreed in principle that the regional stations will be delivered on satellite.

RTV Noord’s Director and Editor-in-Chief Roel Dijkhuis says that the broadcasters have received a very good offer from the satellite operator (SES-Astra), and the money saved by closing the analogue transmitters will be used to finance the cost of going on satellite. The Dutch parliament still has to approve the measure, but Dijkhuis is confident that it will be a formality. The regional broadcasts will still be available terrestrially, but only in digital mode. One regional public broadcaster, Limburg’s L1, has been on satellite for some time, with great success.