The past few days an uncomfortable case for DR has taken a lot of focus away from next months national final. The final show will be hosted in Herning, but 7 other cities spread over the country was offered to be a part of it. As promises failed DR first refused to compensate, but after media pressure the broadcaster changed their mind.
The coming Danish national final, Dansk Melodi Grand Prix 2012, takes place in Herning on the 26th of January. 7 smaller cities spread over the country were however offered that they could be a part of it as well in form of being a co-host on the Danish final where their job would be to host official Grand Prix satellite parties.
DR, the Danish broadcaster, hired the entertainment company DUP to arrange this, who then had all the contact to the cities, which are Brønderslev, Hurup, Auning, Varde, Vamdrup, Kalundborg and Otterup. DUP promised the cities that if they would host a big Grand Prix party – and would pay a fee for this – then there would be a live transmission from their party during the national final and advertising for it on TV and radio in the weeks up until. As the Dansk Melodi Grand Prix is usually seen by a big majority of the population each city would thereby get a lot of extra attention, something smaller cities often are willing to pay for in terms of being able to attract people to move there.
During the past few days the cities have however realised that this promised promotion isn’t going to happen. DR says in a press release: "As DR is independent one will never be able to buy exposure on DR’s channels. Therefore live transmissions and promotion of the parties on DR, is something that DR would never sell as a package". The 7 cities felt that they were being robbed by DR as not only had they paid for something they wouldn’t get, but they had already spent a lot of money and time themselves planning something that would never happen.
As 5 of the 7 cities had already paid the fee this would cost, they went to DR demanding their money back. At first the broadcaster refused with the explanation that the money was paid to DUP, not to DR directly and that it therefore had nothing to do with them.
DUP went out to the media saying that they had not promised anything DR hadn’t told them to promise, that the fee was payment for a live transmission and promotion of the cities. For days the media were writing about the case and politicians went out demanding that DR took the responsibility here.
Last night the broadcaster then sent out a press release saying that "We are very sorry about the situation the cities have been going through. It has never been the plan that the cities should suffer financially from this. Therefore DR has decided to pay back the fee to the cities if DUP isn’t paying it".
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