March 10, 2009
This article was first published by Alexandros Koronakis, Editor of New Europe, on 1st March 2009. To comment on this article, please leave your thoughts at the bottom.
And wouldn’t you know it; I have become quite a Kassandra myself. With the launch of Europarl TV , the web TV of the European Parliament, I was very disappointed, and wrote an editor’s notes piece entitled: Expextations vs Reality – Europarl TV Will Flunk in which the conclusion was that “… far too much is expected of Europarl TV; and it is with these hyperbolic expectations that the budget has been justified.”
The confirmation has come; all too soon. According to avid EU affairs blogger Julien Frisch “German tech news site Heise.de reports that the online TV of the European Parliament (criticised from the beginning) – Europarl TV – has had only 150,000 visitors so far, less than 40,000 per month.” (actually, Bruno Waterfield noted that 60,000 of that 150,000 was in the first week- meaning the numbers are even more catastrophic)
Bruno Waterfield, writing for the Telegraph blog emphasizes: “That’s the web-TV service that will cost more than £32 million over four years, over £9,000 worth of vanity programmes for each and every MEP per annum.”
I will again paste an excerpt from my relevant note to put it into perspective:
“Having read about expectations of 20-40 of millions of viewers for hot debates- I simply laughed. Just as a point of reference, New Europe, European Voice, EU Observer, EUX.TV, Euractiv, Europolitics, and Parliament Magazine all together do not achieve more than 5 million viewers in a whole month. And all of these media a) cover all of the EU Institutions, b) Have a combined budget which probably does not surpass the Europarl TV’s 10 million Euro per year, c) Produce at least 10 times as much content in a year, and d) most of these have been in this business producing such news for many years.”
It is a shame that a strategic effort was not made to partner with all of these EU media, as well as other entities, academia, NGOs and other, for the increased exposure of such a channel. We have several such proposals if those in charge are interested.
Any speech which goes against a current or future project of the EU, which lots of money is poured into is quite unpopular in “Brussels”. There still is great potential for Europarl TV, but the truth needs to be told about what is going on.Stuart Langridge