New East Digital Archive

Bulgarian National Radio returns to 21st century

Bulgarian National Radio returns to 21st century

27 February 2017

Bulgarian National Radio (BNR) can finally play modern music, after two months embroiled in a copyright battle during which the station was only permitted to play music produced before 1945.

According to the local Novinte news website, BNR has reached a deal with copyright body Musicautor, meaning the station can return to playing music produced after 1945.

Whether BNR will relish this development is another question, however — since waving goodbye to music from this side of the Second World War, the broadcaster has seen audiences grow by 20 per cent.

“We will not change the profiles of the programmes, we will instead launch new channels with various types of music,” BNR head Aleksandar Velev stated, alluding to possible changes at the radio.

The copyright dispute was triggered by BNR’s refusal to agree to a gradual threefold increase in its payments to Musicautor, bringing payments more in line with those of other European public radio broadcasters. Until the end of 2016, BNR paid just 1% of its subsidy as royalties to Musicautor, with neighbouring Romania’s public station paying 3.25%, and other European broadcasters contributing even greater proportions.

Source: BBC News