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Bly blir gull. Schibsteds historie —, 1. Oslo: Schibsted forlag. Medier, makt og millioner. Schibsteds historie —, 2. Oslo: Schibsted forlag NOU. Oslo: Kul-tur-departementet. Oslo: Statens Forvaltningstjeneste, Informasjonsforvaltning. Oslo: Departementenes Servicesenter, Informasjonsforvaltning. Accessed November Accessed March 13, TV1 was promoted as a station with ambitious plans to become the market leader, but it ended up in bankruptcy only three years later, partly because of their wrong estimation of the local market.
Between and , most of the valid five-year broadcast licences were renewed. No new terrestrial TV channels were granted. There were 24 newcomers in the field of radio, most of which either replaced defunct stations or resulted from a change in or consolidation of owners. Local studios were shut down, and instead of original local programming, the stations aired centrally produced programmes.
The root cause of this was affordability; in smaller regions, there was insufficient advertising money or human resources to produce and air many local programmes. By this time, two major commercial radio companies— AS Trio and Taevaraadio A S, both operating five to six radio stations—achieved the highest market shares and established themselves as the main competitors of the public Estonian Radio, which had four channels at that time. To bring the law of the Estonian Republic into conformity with the European Union EU before accession to it, major changes were enacted in 36 and In , the Parliament of Estonia adopted the Amendment to the Broadcasting Act, 40 which brought the latter into conformity with EU requirements mainly those arising from the Television without Frontiers Directive.
The Estonia-centric limitation on broadcasting licence ownership was revoked. From the aspect of the free movement of capital, this was a case of liberalising a protectionist market, at least for a while. A subsequent amendment to the Act introduced a licence fee for commercial broadcasters, limited the number of national broadcasting licences to two and closed the market to newcomers.
Policymakers ignored the fact that this protectionist act contradicted European ideals. Both changes—the liberalisation of the proprietary rights mentioned earlier and the closure of the market—directly served the interest of the international media companies that were already in the market. Now, they officially became the sole owners of the private and monopolised broadcasting stations. The law was brought into conformity with the existing situation. Secondly, the closure of the market ensured them an advantageous economic environment.
Between and , only a few new TV licences were issued, and all of them were local licences. For more efficient operations, Estonian Radio and Estonian Television were merged into a new legal entity, Estonian Public Broadcasting ERR , in , and the corresponding law was enacted. The profitable times for commercial television companies lasted until Starting in the mids, new media developments and the rapidly increasing numbers of new foreign channels transmitting through cable, as well as satellite TV and emerging IPTV platforms, complicated the positions of the Estonian commercial broadcasters.
Broadcasters faced a decrease in audiences and losses in revenue. To support the digital transition and ease the difficult financial situation of the private broadcasters, the Amendment of the Broadcasting Law in annulled the broadcasting licence fees as of 1 January It should be recognised that, despite the favourable legal environment and oligopoly structure in the market from to , the unfavourable circumstances in recent years have caused considerable financial losses.
As a result, during their entire existence, the two main commercial broadcasters in Estonia have had a cumulative negative financial result. The digital switchover significantly increased the theoretical number of possible television channels that could be transmitted. Before the switchover, there were only four national television channels; after the switchover, the maximum technical capacity of channels on three multiplexes increased to This opportunity was moderately used by the local players. In , the municipal Tallinna Televisioon TTV was launched, and soon it also occupied one slot on the nationwide multiplex.
However, the majority of the channels available on the terrestrial digital platform are foreign pay-TV channels, some of which have Estonian subtitles for example, Fox, Fox Life, Sony Turbo, Sony Entertainment, National Geographic Channel and others. Of these 15, only one—Tallinna Televisioon—is a free-to-air television channel.
The other 13 are national pay-tv channels, and one is a regional pay-tv channel. The third commercial player, Mediainvest Holding AS former MTG company, now owned by Providence Equity Partners , operated two commercial stations until and added a third station in From the early s to mids, Estonian media enterprises developed primarily with the help of Western investments; generally, Nordic media companies became the owners of these enterprises. The Norwegian Schibsted ASA purchased Postimees the largest-circulation national newspaper, several county newspapers, the Kanal 2 TV station, a printing house and, subsequently, also shares in the Trio radio group which altogether are under Eesti Meedia AS.
MTG also founded three radio stations. The main goal of the foreign companies that invested in the Estonian media sector was to profit from a newly opened market. As we now see, interest in an active presence in the market has diminished and many of the foreign investors have pulled out of the market. One could call this trend business localisation, which tries to provide a balance for growing media globalisation. Globalisation has introduced new business models with the pan-European and global media enterprises that offer universal products and services, increasing their shares in national markets.
It remains to be seen if local owners with local competencies can stand up to these companies and still earn the profits needed for national media sustainability. As shown in this analysis so far, the legal framework has been supportive of private businesses, and there is no reason to believe that there will be any negative changes for them in the Estonian media policy. Quite the opposite: triggered by the revision of the AVSMD directive, an even more liberal approach to media regulation most likely will be put in place soon. Still, media policy development cannot be interpreted as being one sided.
It remains to be seen how further developments in media policy drafting will deal with the two main conflicting issues described by Ibrus: As shown in this research, Estonian media policy drafters have extensively taken into account the financial interests of major stakeholders in recent decades and have adopted media legislation accordingly. It remains to be seen how recent changes in media ownership will influence additional upcoming changes in national media legislation.
One thing is certain: changes will come; if they are not driven by local interests, then surely by the implementation of a new version of the AVSMD. He was one of the founding members of the private commercial television channel Reklaamitelevisioon and the general director of the commercial television channel TV3 Estonia owned by Swedish media corporation Modern Times Group. From — he was the director for the on-line and mobile content services in the Estonian branch of the international telecommunication company Tele2.
Hallin and Paolo Mancini, Comparing media systems: three models of media and politics, Cambridge University Press, , p.
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