CEE group meeting in Madrid, July 5, 2001
Dear colleagues, dear friends,
I would like to remind you once more that our next CEE group meeting is going to take place on the eve of EBU General Assembly in Madrid (6-7.7.2001) on 5.7.2001 at 09.30 in the same hotel where GA would be held - hotel Palace (Congress Hall).

I would like to remind all those having problem with travel expenses that newly established fund by EBU could be used to cover travel expenses of members in need (one person can use this benefit, more details in mail that follows, contact Jane Lincoln in Geneva).

Also, in Madrid CEE Group should get a new coordinator (CEE coordinator is in charge on maintaining contacts among members, organizing meetings of the group and keeping minutes of meeting - it is more organizational function and does not request any extra funds, except some hours of free time and lot of good will).

As you were informed in Budapest some members supported nomination of Mr. Konstantin Zlobin as the new CEE coordinator. To be able to decide on this matter and in the spirit of the conclusions from Budapest all country members on this list are kindly requested to submit ASAP their standpoints on the following two points:

1) Is your station interested to be member of CEE group in the future?
2) In case of positive answer on the point 1, please send in the name of your candidate for CEE coordinator in case your station has some other candidates a part from Mr. Zlobin.

You are also kindly asked to submit all proposals and amendments to the existing CEE rules that can be found at http://www.hrt.hr/cee to be passed at the beginning of the meeting.

So far we have received answers on those questions from:

Bulgarian National TV
Croatian Radio Television
Czech Radio and TV
Estonian Radio
Hungarian Radio and TV
Moldavian Radio Television
Voice of Russia
Slovak Radio
Slovenian Radio Television

We were also in contact with Belarus and Bosnia and Herzegovina.


Daily order of the meeting:


Marija Nemcic
CEE Coordinator
Kresimir Macan
International Relations Dpt.
Croatian Radio Television - HRT

CEE group meeting in Madrid - TRAVEL EXPENSES REFUND BY EBU
Regarding your request regarding Special Assistance to Members, I would just like to inform you that the EBU will reimburse one person to attend the General Assembly not two. The reimbursement is made by means of a credit note. Once we have confirmation of your attendance we will calculate 2 Apex fares and the hotel for 4 nights of which you will be reimbursed 70% of the total. The credit note that will be issued may be used to offset part of your organisations debt to the EBU.
If you have any further questions, please let me know

Kind regards
Jane Lincoln
UER / EBU Geneve/Geneva

Montreux, Switzerland, 27 April 2001 - Belgian "Clic" wins EBU light entertainment competition
An interactive game show called "Clic" designed by Pierre Meyer of Belgian broadcaster RTBF has won an international competition to identify new formats for TV light entertainment.

The competition was organized by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), creator of the Eurovision Song Contest. The result was announced at the Rose d'Or (Golden Rose) TV festival in Montreux today by EBU Secretary General Jean-Bernard Münch.

Aimed at computer-literate teenagers and young adults, "Clic" combines magazine-style information sequences with a quiz that spurs viewers to log on to RTBF's website. Meyer, head of light entertainment at RTBF, will receive financial support to develop the project and work with broadcasters interested in producing national versions of the show.

Meyer's format was among entries from nine countries - Belgium, Britain, France, Israel, Netherlands, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, and the United States.

The jury consisted of the heads of entertainment from the BBC (Britain), NDR/ARD, (Finland), NDR/ARD (Germany), ERT (Greece), SRTV (Romania), RTVSLO (Slovenia) and SSR (Switzerland). All seven organizations are members of the Geneva-based EBU, whose 69 members include the public service broadcasters of every European country.

Apart from light entertainment, EBU activities include operation of the Eurovision and Euroradio networks; the exchange of news, sport and cultural programming; coordination of co-productions; technical research; training; legal advice; and the defence of public service values.

Further information:
Anna Vasova, Head of Fiction and Light Entertainment, EBU
Tel: +41 22 717 24 09; Mobile : +41 79 200 7912 ; e-mail: kohn@ebu.ch
David Lewis, Head of Communications, EBU
Tel: +41 22 717 2032; Mobile: +41 79 217 0922; e-mail: press@ebu.ch

Geneva/Copenhagen, 2 May 2001 - Danish Broadcasting prepares to host record Eurovision Song Contest
The 46th Eurovision Song Contest - in Copenhagen on Saturday 12 May - is expected to be the biggest in the competition's history.

The 23 competing songs* will be performed in the Parken sports stadium - fitted with a movable roof for the occasion - before 38,000 spectators who snapped up every ticket within 50 minutes. This will be by far the largest venue ever used for the competition.

The TV audience is also likely to be a record. The three-hour show will be sent via the European Broadcasting Union's Eurovision network to a live audience expected to nudge 70 million. It will also be webcast on www.songcontest.com under a deal between Danish Broadcasting (DR) and Yahoo!, and be broadcast later in Australia and the US.

The task of organising this year's Song Contest fell to DR after Denmark's Olsen Brothers won in Stockholm last year with "Fly on the Wings of Love".

As always, the contest will be decided by each participating country awarding up to 12 points to the songs of its competitors. This year, 15 countries will base the scores they award on telephone voting. Five will combine televoting with a jury, and three will rely completely on a jury for technical reasons. Excitement will be heightened by a new rule that will exclude countries from next year's contest if they do not finish in the top 15.

DR is confident the huge stadium audience will give enthusiastic support to what will be a lavish and spectacular TV show for Eurovision. Online, internauts will be able to call up each song on demand and choose between five webcams offering glimpses backstage and Green Room interviews. A CD compilation of all songs will go on sale soon.

The Geneva-based EBU, which founded the Eurovision Song Contest in 1956, unites and serves 69 national broadcasting organizations in 50 countries in and around Europe. EBU activities include operation of the Eurovision and Euroradio networks; the exchange of news, sport and cultural programming; coordination of co-productions; technical research; training; legal advice; and the defence of public service values.

* * * * *

* from (in order of appearance) Netherlands, Iceland, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Norway, Israel, Russia, Sweden, Lithuania, Latvia, Croatia, Portugal, Ireland, Spain, France, Turkey, United Kingdom, Slovenia, Poland, Germany, Estonia, Malta, Greece and Denmark. The competition will also be broadcast in seven countries which will compete in 2002: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, FYR Macedonia, Romania and Switzerland.

Further information:
Christine Marchal, Song Contest Coordinator, Tel: +41 22 717 2412, marchal@ebu.ch
David Lewis, Head of Communications, EBU. Tel: +41 22 717 2032 ; press@ebu.ch

Geneva, 25 April 2001 - EBU announces conference on European radio in the 21st century

Geneva, 25 April 2001 - The European Broadcasting Union said today it planned to organise a new international two-yearly meeting devoted to radio in Europe. The first "European Radio Forum" will be held in Vienna on 13-14 June 2002 under the title "The Voice of European Radio in the 21st Century".

"There is currently no European radio conference organised by Europeans on the basis of European values for both private and public service broadcasters," said Thomas Alexanderson, the EBU's Director of Radio. "The European Radio Forum will fill that gap."

The Vienna Forum - to be organized in collaboration with ORF, Austria's public service broadcaster - will address new technology, new formats, multimedia production, archive material, Internet radio, and a wide range of other issues facing radio in the digital age. It will also include an exhibition on latest technology.

Alexanderson said the meeting would provide a unique opportunity for radio executives from both the public and private sectors to exchange ideas with media experts and equipment manufacturers.

The Forum will be supported by the Association of European Radios (AER), which represents private radios; WorldDAB (an international NGO promoting digital audio broadcasting); and the RDS Forum, which works on radio data systems for VHF/FM broadcasting.

The Geneva-based EBU is the professional association of Europe's national public service broadcasters. Its 69 members in 50 countries include the national radio broadcasters of every European country.

Further information:
Thomas Alexanderson, Director of Radio, EBU
Tel:+41 22 717 26 01. Fax: +41 22 717 2610
e-mail: alexanderson@ebu.ch

Geneva, 19 April 2001 - EBU adds new layer of anti-piracy security to video scrambling system

Geneva, 19 April 2001 - The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) said today it had developed a way to increase the protection against piracy of scrambled video signals with a second layer of encryption based solely on software.

Last year, in collaboration with a consortium of manufacturers, the EBU developed a Basic Interoperable Scrambling System (BISS) able to secure digital satellite news gathering (DSNG) transmissions between all makes of equipment.

"The new BISS-E specification involves the use of keys or 'session words' which are themselves encrypted," explained Louis Cheveau, head of transmissions technologies at the EBU. "This adds another layer of security while retaining the full benefits of inter-operability and being suitable not only for DSNG, but all satellite contributions."

The keys for unscrambling the transmission can now be distributed in a secure form using the established DES encryption method. Unscrambling requires the corresponding DES process and a secret Identifier buried in the equipment by the network manager. All existing BISS equipment remains compatible with the new specification.

EBU gratefully acknowledges the support of the following manufacturers in the discussions and preparation of the specification: Barconet, Newtec, Nextream (Thomson TBS & Philips), Octalis, Scopus, Tandberg Television, and Thomcast.

Standardised by the International Telecommunications Union (Rec. ITU-T J.96), the BISS is based on the DVB common scrambling algorithm available through the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (http://www.etsi.org/).

The EBU groups 69 national broadcasters from 50 countries in the European area. Activities include operation of the Eurovision and Euroradio networks, coordination of news and sports programming, promotion of technical standardisation, stimulation of co-productions, and the defence of public service broadcasting.

Further information:
Louis Cheveau, Head of Transmission Technologies
Tel: +41 22 7172741; e-mail: cheveau@ebu.ch
David Lewis, Head of Communications
Tel: +41 22 717 2032; e-mail: press@ebu.ch

Brussels, 27 March 2001 - EBU president sees public broadcasters "at the heart of e-Europe"

The President of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) said public broadcasters were committed to playing a key role in the multimedia world, but that to do so they needed clear regulatjon and adequate funding.

Arne Wessberg, director-general of Finland's national broadcaster YLE, was opening an EBU conference entitled Public service broadcasting in e-Europe. The conference programme included addresses from top broadcasters, ministers from Sweden and Belgium and three European Commissioners.

"Public service broadcasters must be at the heart of e-Europe, able to offer all European citizens quality news, information and education on every platform available," Wessberg said. "We want to seize all the opportunities offered by globalisation and new technology, but to do so we require sufficient financing and a clear regulatory framework."

The 69 members of the EBU, which is based in Geneva, include the public broadcasters of every European country. Activities include the Eurovision and Euroradio networks, the joint purchase of sports rights and news exchanges among a range of operational, technical, legal and strategic services. Wessberg took office as President in January.

Wessberg said the commitment of public broadcasters to the new media would modernise the "European audiovisual model", a balance of private and public service broadcasters that had guaranteed pluralism of information, cultural diversity and universal access to information, education, entertainment and the arts.

But he saw a need to protect viewers and listeners from the risks of a few large commercial groups controlling access to programmes and from "the cultural consequences of unbridled trade liberalisation".

Wessberg' was followed at the podium by Viviane Reding, European Commissioner for Education and Culture. Erkki Liikanen, European Commissioner for the Information Society, was scheduled to speak on e-Europe and broadcasting, and Pascal Lamy, European Trade Commissioner, on the status of GATS negotiations. Swedish Culture Minister Marita Ulvskog and Richard Miller, Minister of Fine Arts, Literature and Media of the French-Speaking Community of Belgium, were also on the conference programme.

Top broadcasters due to address today's conference include BBC director general Greg Dyke, Bert de Graeve (director general, VRT, Belgium), Christian Nissen (director general, DR, Denmark), and all four EBU vice-presidents: Boris Bergant (deputy director general, RTVSLO, Slovenia), Michele Cotta (director general, France 2), Klaus Berg (director general, Hessischer Rundfunk, Germany) and Roberto Zaccaria (President, RAI, Italy).

Further information: David Lewis, Head of Communications, EBU
Tel: +41 22 717 2032 or +41 79 217 0922 (mobile). e-mail: press@ebu.ch

February 19, 2001 - Mr. Bergant's letter to all members

To the members of the EBU Central and Eastern European Group

Dear Friends,
We agreed that I will keep you up-dated on the standings around the election of the new EBU Secretary General and the arrangements around the elections of the Permanent Service Directors in Geneva.
As you all know, the deadline for reaching in candidacies for the post of Secretary General expired on February 1 and for those of the Directors on February 16.
Furthermore, it is a well-known fact that during the Administrative Council meeting on March 16 the election of the new Secretary General shall be confirmed and those of the Directors during the ordinary Administrative Council meeting in May in order to give the new Secretary General time to arrange and discuss matters with the Presidency of the EBU.

While the EBU President, Mr. Wessberg had several talks with some of the members in the last few weeks, it has been agreed that on February 16 the close Presidency will meet in Paris (the President and Vice-Presidents) in order to get an overview of the applications and carry out a first selection.
Unfortunately, the meeting set for February 16 has been called off ( I went there in vain, since I wasn't informed about the alteration of dates; the letter is enclosed to your information and to provide you a feel of the current atmosphere).
The meeting has actually been put off to Friday, March 9. Only then we will have some information about the candidates.

Therefore, I would like to suggest to convene the agreed meeting of our group in Budapest on Monday, March 12. I would kindly ask the details of this meeting to be settled between the Hungarian colleagues and the Croatian co-ordinator and to inform you on time, place and hotel reservations in due time.
As you have been informed already, our Hungarian colleagues have generously offered their hospitality for this meeting.
It is substantial to have the meeting before the decisive Administrative Council meeting, which will take place on the Friday of the same week (March 16).

I would furthermore kindly ask you for your opinion regarding the possibility to invite Mr. Wessberg, the EBU President, to this meeting, which I would considering the situation find useful, also in terms of future strategy.

I have also some further requests:
Please, bring me to Budapest data on the standings of electronic broadcasting in your house including whether you have or have planned to install a website of your station, do you have plans to expand them, if not, why and what plans your organisation has in this regard?
I will have to report on the situation in our part of Europe during the EBU conference taking place in Brussels on March 26/27 and I have very few data in this regard. Your efforts will be highly appreciated.

With kind regards,
Boris Bergant
Ljubljana, February 18, 2001