When unexpected events happen, you have to ask “Is it a conspiracy or a cockup?”
I suspect we’ll be asking that question again shortly when the Conseil supérieur de l’audiovisuel announces which Digital Radio standard France will adopt.
There was an immensely shoddy debate at Le Radio about DAB Digital Radio, which descended into absolute farce when a member of Radio France began to practically insult the President in WorldDAB in French, knowing full well that there was no translation into English. This in turn provoked some peer retribution; they may have agreed on his views, but his professional conduct was highly questionable.
When considering French broadcast standards, I refer the reader to SECAM. This should set the context.
One would usually assume that the input factors for choosing a Digital Radio system would be those that lead to a successful transition to digital, with migration for existing broadcasters, a wide range of well-priced receivers, interesting new services – basically all the components that have driven Digital Radio growth in the UK and Denmark (DAB) and the US (Sirius / XM).
But what if that wasn’t the case. What if the choice of a Digital Radio system was influenced by those eager to see its demise? What if they wanted to protect their vested interests, and being already the majority broadcasters, had an undue amount of influence over the decision and the opinion formers? What if they threatened, economically, supporters of competing ideas? What would happen if you deliberately chose a lame duck, flying the face of facts and professional advice?
Take time to brew on those thoughts, because we may soon be asking those questions.