In a country where freedom of speech has become the most important cause, commercial radio is increasingly impossible because of the concession costs the radio companies have to pay to the state.
The largest commercial radio station in Denmark “Radio 100 FM” owned by Talpa Radio Denmark. However, it is now seeking bankruptcy protection, after running large deficits over the last couple of years. The main reason is due to the fees it has to pay to the Danish state. Talpa Radio isn’t the first Radio to go out of business in Denmark, in 2005 Sky Radio had to stop their transmissions and in 2008 TV2 Radio, owned by the largest semi commercial TV operator in Denmark had to shut down as well. Just recently 100 FM was awarded “Radio station of the year” at the Radiodays conference in Copenhagen, nonetheless being the best just wasn’t enough.
The Danish minister of Culture now says that the Danish government will try and help 100 FM as much as it can, because as “she is much focused on keeping competition alive in the Radio market”. It seems though that government policy is actually what kills the Radio stations, as like in the UK, free market radio competition is far from a reality.
The Danish Broadcasting Corporation (DR) dominates 4 out of 6 national FM channels and has recently finished building a new concert hall and headquarter buildings with a total budget overdraft of more than 1.4 billion Kr. (app. 170 million GBP).
Competition? I don’t think so!