Tuesday, February 21, 2006

PCM: after radio looking into television

Yesterday I mentioned in my blog that the newspaper company PCM was also considering television. By April 1, 2006 we should know the decision. As I indicated PCM, owned by Apax Investment, was looking into setting up a television broadcast station with the assistance of the entertainment company IDTV, more properly Wintermedia, the consulting arm of IDTV’s owner Harry de Winter. IDTV produces programs for commercial and public broadcast stations in the Netherlands. In the past VNU has invested in the company, when it still was a consumer magazine publisher.

So far the course of getting into television was not easy for PCM. They have been active in a local Amsterdam TV station. Recently they proposed to public broadcast companies to start a public private partnership; but such a construction has not been tried yet in Dutch television country. Besides why should there be a public-private partnership? Why can not they go commercial?

So now PCM and IDTV are working on a commercial station, dubbed TV Oase. With a budget of 150 million euro for three years the station should be a commercial quality station. Mr Harry de Winter, the boss of IDTV, keeps telling that the station would really shake up the Dutch broadcast world. With Felix Rottenberg, politician and program producer, and Derk Sauer, a publisher, he is working on a policy, businessplans, formats and programs. From a survey they learned that 90 percent of the intended target group would welcome a quality station. This group consists of students between 20 and 30 years and people of 40 plus; the group in between is busy with their career, household and relationship. But only 5 percent of this group is willing to pay 15 euro a month as subscription.

Some 40 percent of the programs will be produced anew. Some 60 percent of the other programs will be bought abroad. Commercials should be different from the regular commercials such as washing powder and other very consumer products. PCM will take part in the venture with editorial capacity. If they want to they can start the Volkskrant breakfast show (which would be a disaster as breakfast shows are not watched) or a NRC Newsnight program. The station should be a live station.

On April 1, 2006 it will be go or no-go for TV Oase.

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