A plan instituted by the European Union to encourage 16:9 widescreen format broadcasting in its member states. The aim of the plan was to have a total of 50000 hours of widescreen broadcasting across the EU in the year September 5, 1995 to the same day in 1996.

The plan was quietly put in place, with 13 of the 23 broadcasters involved in the plan showing widescreen programmes for the first time. The funding for this project caused Finland to have its first ever widescreen broadcast.

Needless to say, where money was involved, success soon followed. During the first year of the plan, 500,000 widescreen television sets were sold: an increase of 64%. Also during the year, 17 more broadcasters joined the club, bringing the total to 39 broadcasters who like to make people with traditional 4:3 sets unable to see one team's score in a football match.

Another part of the plan's work was to remaster old films from the original celluloid and put them in 16:9 format. Consequently, many films can now be seen bearing a short 'thank you' note for the plan's generous funding.

There are 13 states in the '16:9 zone,' and most of them are listed below. Those with old television sets should take out a loan, or leave these countries immediately for the sake of their sanity.

If you inhabit, or know of, one of the other two states not disclosed by the EU, please contact me.


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