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CULTURE

Two streaming services quit production of Danish-language content

Streaming service Viaplay is to stop producing Danish content, following a similar decision by Netflix earlier this year.

viaplay streaming
New Danish fiction productions are to become rarer on streaming services such as Viaplay and Netflix. File photo: Signe Goldmann/Ritzau Scanpix

Viaplay announced the decision in an open letter to the Producentforeningen and Create Danmark unions, which represent producers and film industry workers such as writers.

The two Danish unions recently reached a rights agreement in January which intended to ensure that filmmakers and screenwriters receive a larger share of the profits if a series or film is distributed widely and is successful. 

Both Netflix and TV2 Play have already ceased production of Danish fiction programmes as a result of the agreement.

“Until we have reached a sustainable agreement, we cannot see any immediate alternative than putting further production of Danish fiction projects on hold,” Viaplay chief content officer Filippa Wallestam wrote in the statement.

“In the long term, we hope we can find a viable way so that we can again produce fiction in Denmark and thereby achieve our ambitious goal of becoming the leading provider of Danish-produced films and series,” Wallestam said.

Viaplay’s chief content officer also said that the rights agreement and a new governmental policy requiring production companies to pay 6 percent of their profits as a “cultural contribution” to support Danish public media could make Denmark “a low priority market in relation to investments in local content.”

The cultural contribution is a recent introduction by the government and specifically requires streaming companies to pay a 6 percent levy on their profits in Denmark.

The agreement between Producentforeningen and Create Danmark runs for two years.

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SAS

SAS strike affected 380,000 passengers in July

More than 3,700 flights where cancelled and 380,000 passengers where affected by the 15-day strike which hit Scandinavia's SAS airline last month, the company has revealed.

SAS strike affected 380,000 passengers in July

“We sincerely apologize to our customers who were affected by the July strike,” Anko van der Werff, the company’s chief executive, said in a press release. “We are happy operations returned to normality again allowing us to start regaining our customers’ trust.”

According to the release, 1.3 million passengers travelled with the airline in July, which was still a 23 percent increase on the same month last year, when Covid-19 restrictions were still reducing tourism levels.

“In comparison with last month, the total number of passengers decreased with 32 percent and capacity was decreased by 23 percent, which was a result from the 15-day pilot strike,” the release read. 

Pilot unions in Sweden, Denmark and Norway, went on strike for 15 days last month over pay, conditions, and the company’s refusal to rehire pilots laid off during the Covid-19 pandemic on the same terms as before. 

The strike, which cost the airline between €9m and €12m a day, was ended on July 19th, after which it took several days to get flights back to normal

Van der Werff said company said it would now continue putting in place its restructuring plan, SAS FORWARD, and push ahead with restructuring in the US, where the company has filed for Chapter 11. 

He said these would both “accelerate the transformation process that will lead to a financially stable airline, that will be able to deliver the service our customers are expecting”. 

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