On Monday almost 34,500 people had signed a petition, demanding that Minister of Education Thorgerdur Katrín Gunnarsdóttir removes national broadcaster RÚV from the advertising market in an effort to save private television channel Skjár 1.
“This is fantastic. An incredibly high number of people,” managing director of Skjár 1 Sigrídur Margrét Oddsdóttir told visir.is. Everyone who signs the online petition has to include his or her kennitala, social security number.
Skjár 1 is among companies that were forced to give notice to all of its employees last month. Skjár 1 was unable to hold on to its employees due to a drop in advertising sales of which the television channel thrives.
“Every year RÚV gets [ISK] 3 billion [USD 23 million, EUR 18 million] as a head start from us tax payers and can use that amount to overbid other stations when purchasing material,” Oddsdóttir said. She finds it unfair that RÚV is also competing with private television stations on the advertising market.
Gunnarsdóttir has appointed a taskforce to report on the position of RÚV on the advertising market and the Competition Authority has yet to comment on the situation.
“When a decision has been reached we will submit the petition in the hope that Thorgerdur [Katrín Gunnarsdóttir] will make the right decision,” Oddsdóttir concluded.