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Netherlands' SBS seeking nominal yearly fees to pay for HD broadcasts

Darren Murph

No one ever said the spoils of high-definition came free, and no one knows that better than Dutch commercial broadcaster SBS. The outfit is reportedly holding its hand out and covering its face while asking for payments between €2 to €3 per year, per subscriber, from cable operators in order to pay for HD broadcasts. That's according to Eric Eljon, MD of SBS Productions, who hopes to begin high-def simulcasts within a few months should a deal be reached. In The Netherlands today, there is no license fee at all, with the public broadcasting system paid for out of the general budget; additionally, there's currently no way to recoup the massive increase in cost when switching to HD via advertising alone. C'mon, cable carriers / consumers -- just think of the HD starved children.

[Thanks, Wouter]

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