Meistari deild

I did not have the radio on in my car during my long drive today, except at the very end, once I got into Reykjavík. Turned it on just in time to hear the news, first the news on Bylgjan and then on RUV.

It seems some people are upset because the Handball Championships are going to be shown on the subscription channel, Stöð 2, instead of on the state-run channel. I think this might have something to do with the fact that the state-run channel ran all the games of the Soccer World Championship. Since Icelanders are actually in the Handball Championship, and were not in the World Cup, it seems positively un-Icelandic not to show it on the state-run channel.

Now in the U.S., I have to say, there is usually a broadcast block out for the local teams. That means, if you live in San Francisco, and the 49ers are playing a game that is being nationally televised on one of the free channels in the US (NBC used to do it, CBS may be doing it now), your local NBC affiliate will NOT be allowed to show the game. You have to either pay for cable, or you have to buy a ticket to the game, to see it. Business guys are not dumb: they know where the demand is high, people will be wiling to pay.

Here in Iceland though this sort of business decision is instead one of political import, in as much as the schedule for the state-run station is I guess approved by the Cultural Ministry. And thus the programming on the television channels can become a hot political potato.

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