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SVT fulfils public service mandate: report

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10:16 CEST+02:00
Sveriges Television (SVT) offers a clear alternative to the commercial television channels and offers programming which "the market" does not, a new inspection report has said.

The evaluation was undertaken by the Swedish Broadcasting Commission (Granskningsnämnden) in 2007-2009 and was published on Wednesday.

It shows that SVT1 and SVT2 meet the requirements for a varied selection of programming, the commission investigator Kent Asp wrote in an opinion article in the Dagens Nyheter daily.

"It is a balance between information-oriented and entertainment-oriented programming, it concerns the status of domestic television production status and addresses the breadth and diversity of the product," said Asp.

But some public-service requirements are met to a lesser degree than before.

The breadth and variation of programming has declined over time, the status of Swedish programming has weakened, and the selection aimed at young people and minority groups is declining along with the trend.

The commission also expressed doubts that SVT fulfill their mission in terms that reflect regional variations and conditions throughout the country.

Public service broadcasting has never had such broad political support as it has today, but at the same time support is declining among SVT viewers. This development threatens funding in the longer term.

Kent Asp suggested the alternative of replacing the current TV licence system with a special public service fee which, like the burial fee, would be pre-printed on annual tax declaration forms.

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