DR announces two new channels

DR3 and Lille Ramasjang added, while DR Update and DR HD get axed

Television viewers can look forward to two new channels in 2013, public broadcaster DR announced today.

One of the new channels, DR3, will be targeted at viewers aged 15-39 and will “surprise, provoke and challenge”, according to a press release.

One imagines this news may not have been cause for celebration among the political party Kristendemokraterne (KD), who already think DR's programming is too provocative. Earlier this year, KD blasted Ramasjang, DR's channel aimed at children, for showing men and dolls in lingerie and other adult topics that the party maintains young viewers cannot understand and should not have forced upon them.

Ramasjang's channel editor Kristine Vinderskov, however, largely dismissed the criticism at the time.

“For Ramasjang, it’s not important to be judgemental or biassed, but to celebrate the values of diversity and tolerance,” Vinderskov told Jyllands-Posten in February.

Vinderskov’s response resulted in further criticism, this time from Dansk Folkeparti's cultural spokesman Alex Ahrendtsen.

“Her attitude reveals that she uses the children’s channel to propagate certain positions,” Ahrendtsen told Jyllands-Posten. “Kristendemokraterne should be allowed to be outraged. They also pay the licence fee.”

Although today's new channel announcement didn't mention any criticism of Ramasjang's programming, DR is now launching Lille Ramasjang, which will target viewers aged 3-6 years. Whether this channel will move away from the controversial programming of Ramasjang remains to be seen, but the original Ramasjang will now be geared towards children aged 7-12 years. Its previous demographic was children aged 3-10 years.

Changes to DR's existing channels were also announced, including the shutting down of DR Update and DR HD. Parts of their content will be included in the new channels.

According to the release, news and current affairs will have a more prominent role on DR2. The channel will be broadcast 24 hours a day, and will provide more background information and perspective on its stories. Deeper analysis of the news will also be offered, and the channel will carry some content from DR Update.

“The changes are part of an extensive reorganisation of DR’s television channels,” according to the press release. 

DR is funded by a broadcast receiving license fee that all radio and television owners in Denmark must pay. Recently, owners of computers and other devices able to receive DR’s video content, including mobile phones, have also been subject to the fee. The fee must be paid regardless of whether the services were ordered or not. 

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