Thursday, September 24, 2009

What is it ....

... that some people love, other people claim to hate, yet is watched by a huge slice of the population; that we've complained about not getting and now complain because we have got it; and that will cost 600,000 crowns per minute??

Yes, it's the Eurovision Song Contest Oslo 2010!! :-D

It's in the news today that next year's ESC will cost something like 211 million, ie 600,000 per minute, and it's not at all a given that NRK, our state-owned broadcasting corporation which is the contest's host (yes, that is in fact how it works), will be able to pay for it out of their ordinary budget. Only 40-45% of the total costs will be covered by the funding from the EBU (this is where the entrance fees go) and ticket sales and sponsorships. So ... still a ways to go. The Department of Culture says that they won't be coughing up any extra cash for it. Now NRK wants to get that money through more regular channels - by adding to the licensing fees that are their main financial support. Everyone who owns a TV in this country has to pay a fee, and that money goes to NRK. (A perfectly normal system, I might add ... most European countries have it, it isn't something that 'the socialists' have cooked up to be mean to us.) So, they want to increase that fee and get the extra money they need that way. 55 crowns from each eligible person. OMG what a staggering sum. :-D

Dagbladet online has a poll - I love their polls, it makes their articles so special, you feel like they're really trying so hard to connect to you, the reader! :-D - where you can say yes or no to whether this is OK. I said yes of course. The 'yes' pie slice turned out to be extremely small - only 4%! :-D So 96% think this is a horrible idea. I wonder how many of those 96% thought it was totally fantastic when we won in Moscow back in May. ;-) But of course it shouldn't cost anything for me, I'm so special. :-D These polls are actually pretty interesting, because they're very skewed ... like for instance, the poll they had on election night showed that more than 40% of the voters there were going to vote for FrP. But they ended up on slightly less than 23%. So when I hear people (often those with FrP leanings ;-) whining & complaining that Dagbladet is such a leftist socialist rag, I kinda lolz to myself a bit. Dagbladet staff may be socialist scum but their readers, methinks, are comprised to a significant degree of some other kind of scum. ;-) But that's another story.

Where was I. Oh yes, massive popular resistance to those extra 55 crowns. They've opened the article for debate and it's pretty hilarious. One person writes about 'the people's rage' against the licensing fee. I mean, rage? Seriously? The people's? :-D There's one guy who says that he's 'boiling' ... he must mean with rage too, I guess. Of course, most people fail to understand that it isn't NRK that's licensed, it's the TV set. That's why you pay, because you have a TV. If you fix your TV so you can't get signals on it, you don't have to pay. Personally I think the licensing system is fine and I very much appreciate having a channel like NRK. Three channels, actually. I don't watch it all that much, but I so appreciate having it. I always watch the news on NRK. I really like the fact that they aren't dependent on selling commercial time to get by ... and I really like not having to watch the damn commercials.

Anyway. There are so many complaints. Some sensible voices too, of course, but mostly not. :-D It's robbery, we're living in a communist regime, the license is anti-democratic ... In one way it's really entertaining. But in another way it's pretty scary. This is after all a pretty insignificant issue. I mean, compared to other problems we're having. Peak oil, anyone? Climate changes? Fundamentalism, culture crashes, environmental destruction? It's like the old saying goes, if this brownie is awesome, then what is the Grand Canyon? Just pay the damn 55 crowns and move on to more important things.

Personally I of course think we need to just do whatever it takes to put the show on. ;-) Not just because I'm such a crazy fan, actually. But the EBU's invitation to the winner to host next year's final has never been declined. Not by anyone ever. And our entry this year was the highest scoring in ESC history ... so of course we couldn't possibly be the first to ever decline. That goes without saying. But I do think that we ought to scale the whole thing down and make it a much more modest show. Moscow this year was totally off the charts. So yeah, scale it down, definitely. 211 million sounds like a lot. o_O But what do I know. It's going to cost money. And what do you think all these raging commenters and bloggers would say if NRK declined the invitation and we didn't get to have the final here after all? Something tells me that would be just as wrong. ;-)

Plus, people, we have to remember our friends. Cause you know what would have happened if we had declined the invitation? (Which now is not going to happen, that's right. All the haters out there, forget it, it's a done deal. Oslo 2010 woo-hoo!! :-D) If the winner declines, the runner-up gets the invitation. And seriously, is that a choice we would have wanted to force on Iceland in a situation like theirs? I'm pretty sure that if the situation had been reversed, they would have done everything they could to spare us that embarrassment. That's what friends are for. ;-)

20 comments:

Paz said...

ITA its a small amount of money, build a bridge and get over it. There are worse things to complain about.

Leisha Camden said...

'build a bridge and get over it', lol! That's a brilliant expression, I'll have to remember that. :-)

Anonymous said...

"I kinda lolz to myself a bit"

LOLZ!!!!???

well here's another one, WTFO????

It was a good read and interesting up until the "lolz" I would say. Then i frantically searched for the X in the top right corner.

Leisha Camden said...

No, you didn't. You stayed long enough to post a comment. ;-)

Have a nice day!!

findabair said...

Paying licensing fees to maintain NRK - yes, absolutely; the possibility of a commercially financed NRK is a perfect nightmare. I don't really watch NRK that much either, but it's certainly a safe haven of solid news reporting and absence of silly/frustrating/questionable ads that I wouldn't be without.

Hosting the finals instead of declining it - yes, certainly. But upping the licensing fees to pay for the finals - I strongly disagree with that. (Though I'm certainly not boiling with rage or similar; life is far too short to be bothered by such details..!! :) It's partly an emotional/irrational thing - why should I have to pay more for us to host the ESC finals when I wouldn't be bothered if the thing was never organised again? ;P

But also it's the principle of the thing. I totally agree with you that it should be scaled down; I think it's kind of absurd to spend that amount of money on an arrangement like the ESC. And to be clear, I would have thought exactly the same had they suggested upping the licensing fees for some huge sports championship or similar.

Anéa said...

I'm with findabair and you on this one.... Why don't they scale it down, a bit less firework here and there, a better organizing of people, and I'm sure they've saved some hefty millions of kroner. Yeah, we all like it to be grand and kitschy, but I don't really think we'll be able to tell the difference.

Admittedly I've lived without TV for too long to miss it, and maybe to have an opinion about the matter as well. But I don't like how todays license rules are executed - for example, I want to watch DVDs on a regular screen without paying 2335,- to a service I don't use whatsoever. I disagree with the license applying to everyone buying/owning a screen capable of being used to watch TV. With the new digital terrestrial system a TV alone won't give you TV signals, still they charge you money as if it was. That alone makes me detest the whole system.

I also dislike how they claim to be commercial free, but still front a lot of logos and such every time they present a program made "in collaboration with" or "supported by". That IS commercial, in my eyes.

I DO like the idea of a commercial free and fairly objective channel, and NRK is by far the best alternative when it comes to the heavy and/or serious stuff. They are more thorough, they are better organized. But todays license system is a bastard system - they can't have it both ways. I'd like to support them, but not in the way it's organized today.

I'm with you on the reflections of the Dagbladet polls... He-he. Almost like "Holmgang".

Margo said...

I like the ESC :)

Shiva said...

I guess this is why NRK has been extra active lately. I got a visit from an NRK guy two days ago and I can "finally" join the club of those paying for the license fee 8)

Leisha Camden said...

Wow, Shiva, lucky you. ;-) Yeah, they're probably working pretty hard now to get this project on its feet. I don't think it's something they were too thrilled to get, but on the other hand it's very prestigious for them ... so I'm sure they want to give it their best effort. And someone's gotta pay for that. ;-)

Margo, when you're right, you're right ... !! :-D

Anéa, I agree on the sponsorship thing. That is seriously annoying. But I'm not knowledgeable enough to say how necessary that part of their funding is and how they would have to change things if they didn't have it. Because I'm willing to overlook a lot to keep NRK as it is today. On the news and documentary front especially. I trust their news reporting above pretty much anything in this country ... and you know they'll never pull a TVNorge on the news. ;-) At least while they're a public channel as they are now - while they are themselves, so to speak. I'm willing to let them go pretty far to maintain that status quo.

Findabair, well, I'm not so opposed to upping the fee to pay for something special and unique. And the fact that it's the ESC makes this debate a little unusual. Not because I'm such a fan. ;-) But consider this: If they were doing the same thing to ensure the best possible coverage of, say, the Tromsø Winter Olympics (which will never happen, but just as an example) I don't think they would get much criticism at all. People would accept it. But the ESC is 'lowbrow' or whatever so they don't accept it for that ... even though a lot of those who are negative in this discussion now will end up watching the show come May. (Not you, but other people. ;-) So IMO this debate is skewed because of its topic ... it's not about the principle of the thing, it's about the ESC.

Paz said...

ITA that its Low Brow :P

Leisha Camden said...

Quel surprise ... >:-)

Paz said...

:O

Leisha Camden said...

Are you in Dublin right now? o_O

Paz said...

I usually try to get home to the west of Ireland for the weekend

Paz said...

why Dublin?

Leisha Camden said...

Because I just installed one of those live traffic things from feedjit, and I kept seeing someone from Dublin here, at around the same time that you were posting your comments. But I guess there's more than one Irishman wandering the web. :-)

Paz said...

we got more than one computer 33 1/3( ask someone who's been to Ireland to explain)

Paz said...

BTW I think that I am the Dublin visitor, prob dont show all locations in Ireland

Leisha Camden said...

Maybe. But I've also seen someone from 'Swords, Dublin' ... so that seems pretty specific ... o_O But what do I know. :-)

Will Findabair understand about the 33 1/3 thing? I mean, she's been to Ireland, lots of times. ;-)

Paz said...

meant to put that we have 33 1/3 computers, reason i put that number its the way we pronounce it, the English neighbours and Americans find it amusing