Supervision of the media

In the Netherlands, the Media Authority is responsible for supervising both public and commercial broadcasters. Broadcasters that break the rules may be fined or lose airtime.

Monitoring by the Media Authority

The Dutch Media Authority investigates in various ways whether broadcasters comply with the Media Act 2008. The Authority:

  • checks whether broadcasters are keeping to the rules about advertising, teleshopping, sponsoring, subtitling, and Dutch and Frisian language productions;
  • supervises public broadcasters’ finances, for example by auditing the annual accounts and checking whether expenditure is lawful;
  • monitors public broadcasters for mismanagement.

Monitoring after programmes have been broadcast

Monitoring for compliance with programme requirements always takes place after the programmes have been broadcast. This is to protect broadcasters from censorship (government interference with content), since the Media Authority can have no influence on the form and content of the programmes. 


Broadcasters breaking the rules set down in the Media Act may have to pay fines to a maximum of €225,000. The Media Authority may also withdraw a public broadcaster’s airtime, or the permission of a commercial broadcaster to broadcast programmes. In some cases, the Authority may issue instructions or an order subject to a penalty payment.