Territory report: Nordic Territories

Nordic digital frozen in slo-mo

AMSTERDAM — With strong Nordic players like Bonnier, Egmont and Modern Times, none of which has inclination to sell off or merge anything, the Nordic territories have been little affected by the mergers-and-acquisitions climate. But they have been strongly affected by digital buzz and the reality soap bug.

Finland finally soft launched its terrestrial digital platform in August, but despite serious planning, it has been plagued by the same lack of set-top boxes that made the Swedish digital terrestrial launch a miserable affair.

Most channels won’t really be up to full speed until next year, but buyers see the promise of being able to place more niche-channel fare next year.

“We will be able to buy more educational and cultural programs because we’ll have more of an outlet for them,” says Ingegerd Pesonen, head of international acquisitions for YLE.

With the reality bug having bitten the Nordic territories big time, formats like “The Bar,” “Big Brother,” and “Temptation Island” have buyers either counterprogramming like crazy or on a frenzied hunt for the next big “shocker,” as head of program acquisitions for NRK Ake Kallqvist puts it. “We’re waiting for the next wave of innovation that will rock the programming boat.”

Denmark
TV homes:2.5 million

Cable homes:1.8 million

Satellite homes:355,000

Local programming:33%

Top show:“Eurovision Song Contest” on DR (2.7 million viewers)

Finland
TV homes:2.2 million

Cable homes:820,000

Satellite homes:210,000

Local programming:40%

Top show:“Secret Lives” (1.3 million viewers)

Norway
TV homes:2 million

Cable homes:932,000

Satellite homes:384,000

Local programming:40%

Top show:“Eurovision Song Contest” on NRK (41% share)

Sweden
TV homes:4 million

Cable homes:1.6 million

Satellite homes:1.2 million

Local programming:33%

Top show:“Melodifestivalen,” qualifying event for the “Eurovision Song Contest,” on SVT (45% share)

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