Television in Denmark
Television in Denmark was established in the 1950s and was run by a monopoly with only one channel available until the 1980s.
The first television broadcasts in Denmark started on 2 October 1951. These were carried out by the national radio broadcaster Statsradiofonien and consisted of a one hour broadcast three times per week. The broadcasts were initially limited to a few hundred homes in the capital area.
Daily broadcasts started in 1954. With the opening of the Gladsaxe transmitter, most of Zealand could watch television. The entire country was covered in 1960 when the transmitter on Bornholm opened. Statsradiofonien was renamed Danmarks Radio (DR) in 1959.
The first news programme, TV-Avisen, started in 1965. Colour television started test transmissions in 1967, with colour television becoming the norm in filming and broadcasting from 1970 on.
In 1983, DR started trials with the regional television station TV Syd. Local television started in many parts of the country, challenging the DR monopoly. The monopoly on national television ended on 1 October 1988, when TV 2 started. TV 2 was located in Odense on Funen and received funding from both advertising and the television license. Eight regional stations were established within TV 2, one of which was TV Syd. Interrupting programmes for commercials was illegal (and still is, as of 2012), so commercials were broadcast between the programmes.
The first private satellite channel broadcasting in the Scandinavian languages had started in 1987 and was known as TV3. A separate Danish version started in 1990. TV3 was broadcasting from London and could therefore avoid the Danish advertising laws. TV3 launched a sister channel known as 3+ in 1996, by merging its two former channels TV6 and ZTV.
The local television stations weren't allowed to network, which meant that two stations couldn't show one programme at the same time. In 1997, the rules were relaxed, allowing the stations to simulcast a programme at the same time. This gave birth to the TV Danmark network.
TV 2 started a second channel in 2000. It was known as TV 2 Zulu and was a solely commercial venture. It was initially a free channel, but was changed into a pay channel in 2003. TV 2 has since launched various pay channels such as TV 2 Charlie, TV 2 Film and TV 2 News.
SBS, owners of TV Danmark, launched a sister channel called TV Danmark 1 in 2002. The original channel became TV Danmark 2. Just as TV3 and TV3+, TV Danmark 1 was broadcast from London. On 4 April 2004, TV Danmark 1 became Kanal 5. TV Danmark was renamed Kanal 4 on 3 April 2006 and left the terrestrial network on 1 January 2007. It was replaced by SBS Net, owned by the same company.
As both DR and TV 2 are owned by the state, the state-owned broadcasters have a relatively high viewing share, by European standards. When a new centre-right government was elected in 2001, it announced that it would privatize TV 2 within 100 days. This failed, but TV 2 was transformed into a government-owned public company (aktieselskab) in 2003. TV 2 received license funding for the national channel for the last time in 2004.
Digital terrestrial television
As of February 2008, only one national multiplex is available, broadcasting DR1, DR2, TV 2 and a channel shared by DR Update and sign language simulcast of DR/TV2 news using the DVB-T technology and MPEG-2 compression in 64-QAM mode.
In November 2009 the terrestrial analogue TV service was shut down and replaced with 3 DVB-T multiplexes, to be joined by a fourth in November 2010.
In 1999, a trial was launched in Copenhagen and Zealand. Another trial was launched in 2002 in northern Jutland, broadcasting the three public service channels and an experimental regional channel called "TV2/Nord-Digital".
In June 2005, a broad majority consisting of Venstre, the Conservative People's Party, the Social Democrats, the Danish Social Liberal Party, the Socialist People's Party and Danish People's Party agreed that the analogue broadcasts would cease by the end of October 2009.
The official launch was made on 31 March 2006 after some months of national trials with one multiplex covering the entire country. It offered the national analogue channels DR1 and TV 2, as well as DR2, a stream for signed simulcasts of news programmes on the three other channels and the MHP services DR extra and TV 2 Extra. On 19 February 2008, DR Update started broadcasting on the simulcast channel when this channel was not used for simulcasting (between 17 and 20 o'clock). The multiplex was operated by I/S DIGI-TV, a joint-venture between DR and TV 2.
On 11 June 2007 the Danish Ministry of Culture announced that the six parties had agreed on how the extension of the network would continue. Four multiplexes would be given to a commercial gatekeeper which would be required to have a varied offering and would be chosen through a "beauty contest". Another multiplex, MUX 2, would be made available for public service broadcasting, carrying the children and history channel from DR, a parliament channel, more airtime for the TV 2 regions, public access television and further capacity for DR. 
It is expected that the new multiplexes will use the more efficient MPEG-4 compression. MUX 1 will continue using MPEG-2 until 2012 when it switches to MPEG-4.
Three of the commercial multiplexes will be made available at the analogue switch-off, while the fourth will be available in October 2010. The commercial gatekeeper would be required to carry at least one channel from neighbouring countries and a local channel. A maximum of 25 percent of the capacity could be used for "high-pay" channels (such as Canal+) and if the gatekeeper would like to offer mobile television (DVB-H), 15 percent of the capacity on multiplex used for mobile television would have to given to DR.
Viewing shares for different channels, according to TNS-Gallup.
* The figures for 2009 only concern the weeks up to 26 April.
|TV 2 Zulu||0.3||2.2||3.1||2.1||2.5||2.8||3.0||2.5||2.3||2.3|
|TV 2 Charlie||-||-||-||-||0.2||1.0||2.0||2.7||2.4||2.6|
|TV 2 Film||-||-||-||-||-||0.2||0.8||1.1||1.1||1.2|
|TV 2 News||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||0.7||1.8||2.4|
|Viasat Sport/TV 2 Sport||-||-||0.4||0.4||0.4||0.4||0.4||0.8||1.1||1.2|
|TVDanmark 2/Kanal 4||5.1||6.3||4.8||4.7||4.3||3.9||3.1||1.2||1.7||1.8|
|TVDanmark 1/Kanal 5||1.9||2.3||2.2||1.9||2.3||2.3||2.5||2.6||2.9||2.9|
|The Voice TV||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||0.3||0.3|
- Danmark skifter tv-signal den 1. november 2009, DR, November 7, 2008
- Større tv-udbud og mere konkurrence mellem de forskellige platforme fra 2009, Kulturministeriet, 11 June 2007
- Beslutningspapir tiltrådt af partierne bag medieaftale 2007-2010 d. 11 juni 2007 - Retningslinier for utbud af digitalt tv mv., Kulturministeriet, 11 June 2007