Scrapping X Factor amongst DF’s proposals to cut DR’s budget

Blue bloc party wants to trim costs down from 3.7 to 3 billion kroner a year

Difficult to know what’s scarier: the 741,746 voters who backed Dansk Folkeparti (DF) in the 2015 General Election or the 1.57 million Danes who watched the 2016 grand final of ‘X Factor’.

And on Friday, those two segments of the Danish population came crashing into one another when DF proposed that maybe it was time for DR to dispose of its colossally popular TV show to cut costs and concentrate more on its remit to provide a public service – including more programs featuring jazz and folk music.

Overall, DF has proposed in today’s Berlingske newspaper that DR should cut its annual budget by 700 million kroner to 3 billion kroner a year moving on from 2018 – questioning high executive salaries in the process – and it is believed there is general support amongst the blue bloc parties.

Let them be entertained!
DR chairman Michael Christiansen, however, has warned that further cuts will see widespread redundancies and far less original DR content, and that cutting light entertainment programs like X Factor made little sense.

“DR needs to apply to the entire Danish population and contain elements that make up all our lives,” he told DR. “Just 8 percent of our content is entertainment and the programs certainly contain public service elements.”

Boost for private media
Danske Medier has applauded DF’s proposals. Ebbe Dal, the chief executive of the trade organisation for privately-owned media, said it will help his members get more readers to pay for their content.

“If the public have free access to a quality news service like DR, they’ll choose it over something that is payable,” he said according to Berlingske.

DR the least of their worries
However, Socialdemokraterne culture spokesperson Mogens Jensen dismissed the argument. “It’s a myth,” he said according to Berlingske.

“In the United States there is no public service media at all, but the newspapers’ situation is just as bad as in Denmark with competitors such as Facebook, YouTube and major foreign, social media.

Red bloc freeze?
Negotiations have not yet begun on the new media agreement with DR.

Several red bloc parties fear they won’t be invited to participate in the talks.