Digital TV in Denmark creates headaches for local stations

static tvAs Denmark continues on its path to convert the nation’s television stations to a digital broadcasting system, many small stations are finding it difficult to meet the strict guidelines required by the government. The local broadcasters have until 1 November to make the changes or they will be left out in the cold.

On 1 November, the two million or so antennae-based televisions across Denmark will be forced to switch to digital service if they want to watch any television. City TV station Kanal Kobenhavn is one such station that needs to make significant changes if it wants to keep its broadcasting license.

Among the most affected are public stations like TV2 and DR, as well as countless small local stations. Kanal Kobenhavn’s trouble is with its non-commercial broadcasts such as the pornography it shows late at night. The station has been showing these sexy movies for 25 years, but the new regulations forbid any content that contains pornography or gratuitous violence.

In a touch of state control over freedom of expression, the government has decided to ban any station broadcasting material deemed to “cause serious harm to minors’ physical, mental or moral development.”

The Copenhagen Post reports there are presently 286 local television stations around Denmark. Only nine of these are labeled non-commercial by the Culture Ministry’s Agency for Libraries and Media. This means nearly all Danish television will be much tamer and more morally rigid as of the first of November.