"In the Presence of English: Media and European Youth".
"As in the discussions of English in other sections of this chapter, the media landscape of Europe cannot be painted with a broad brush. Germany, for example, with about 83 million people, has the largest media market in Europe. Consequently, the media landscape has a high concentration of national, German language media. In contrast to Belgium, Switzerland, or the Netherlands, for example, television programs from abroad, such as CNN or BBC World, do not attain substantial market shares. With regard to free television the German market is the most competitive in Europe...
Language dubbing and subtitling are also practiced differently depending upon the country. Larger countries like France and Germany consider the investment in dubbing English-language films worthwhile. Thus, contact via television with exclusively English language offers is a rare occurrence.
Smaller countries, for example, Portugal, Sweden, and the Netherlands, subtitle films; Scandinavia and the Netherlands, as reported by Hasebrink & Herzog, regard dubbing as “cultural barbarism” (2002, p. 24-25). This means that TV is an important source of contact with foreign languages;
Informal counts show that 40 to 60 % of the programs on Dutch-speaking channels are actually in a foreign language, mainly English. In addition to such popular English language channels as MTV and the Discovery Channel, Dutch TV viewers will get at least one hour of English on average every day. Earlier research (de Bot, Jagt, Janssen, Kessels & Schils, 1986) has shown that watching subtitled TV programs does not mean that only the subtitles are attended to: information is drawn both from the spoken language and from the subtitles. Research by the Dutch Broadcasting Association shows that the Dutch population clearly prefers subtitling over dubbing. Keeping up or developing foreign language skills is expressly mentioned as one of the reasons.
In the Walloon Community of Belgium, however, dubbing is preferred, possibly because in Walloon media English has a place that is much less important than in Flanders. The most important reason for this is the rich French media offerings. Being part of the Francophone world, Wallonia has since the rise of cinema depended to a great extent on French productions. Since France had an intensive production of films, the public was used to French actors (and French voices when sound was added to the pictures). The Francophone market was so important that foreign films of possible interest to the Francophone audience were dubbed in spite of additional costs for doing so.
As in other western countries, radio has a large number of formatted programs broadcast for specific target groups. Those programs especially designed to attract young audiences offer mainly current popular music, a large majority of which has English lyrics. As several studies have indicated, radio programs for young audiences in Germany can offer 95 to 100 % of their music in English language (e.g., for the Berlin market, Wichert, 1997). This corresponds to audience studies which consistently show a strong preference among younger audiences for English language music, although older groups still prefer German pop among popular music in general.
Corresponding to rules in France, which require that 40% of broadcast music has French lyrics, the Organization of German Music Publishers has voted in favor of quotas for German language music. While English language programs are very common on Dutch television and a host of English spoken channels are available, hardly anyone listens to English language radio stations.
...A subsequent report found that among Germans 15 years of age and older, 44% claimed to be able to participate in a conversation in English (just 12% claimed to be able to speak French) (European Commission, 2001b). Compared to Eurobarometer surveys from previous years, this figure marks a steady increase in language proficiency: in 1998 it was 41% and in 1990 just 34%."
Lack of empirical evidence on Dutch attitudes has not kept various academics from expressing their fear that Dutch will be replaced by English in the near future (e.g., Beheydt, 1996; de Swaan, 1991). These fears are not supported by a pilot study in which 69 immigrants from 31 different countries were questioned about their language attitudes and intentions to learn other languages (Weltens & De Bot, 1995). The main conclusion of the study, which was motivated by impressions in various immigration countries that immigrants “skip” the national language and try to learn a larger international language in order to move on, was that among immigrants in the Netherlands, at any rate, learning English, for all its attractiveness in other respects, is not seen as an alternative to learning Dutch.http://www.springer.com/us/book/9780387368931