Minister: FM broadcasts scrapped by 2022
FM radio broadcasts should be replaced by digital radio services by 2022, and the TV licence fee will remain for the next six years, at least. Those are some of the highlights of the public service radio and TV bill presented by the Swedish government today.
It also wants public service broadcasters to put more resources into broadcasting in Sweden's official minority languages, including Yiddish and Romani Chib.
There was much discussion about whether the government would scrap the current licence fee funding model for public service, and replace it with a tax, but this has not been included in the bill.
Swedish Television (SVT), Swedish Radio (SR) and the Swedish Educational Broadcasting Company (UR) are all funded by a licence fee, which has to be paid by all households that own a TV, or any other device that can receive live television.
Swedish Radio's director-general Cilla Benkö says the decision to go over to digital radio is welcome, but says there are still questions to be answered:
"We're happy that the government is now recommending digital radio broadcasts", she says, "but the issue has not been resolved with today's announcement. If the digitalisation is to be successful the audience will need to feel they can get more from Swedish Radio than they do today."
The government has decided against giving Swedish Radio more funds to pay for new digital-only channels.