NRK cruises to ratings success

Half of Norway's population watch 'Hurtigruten'

LONDON — The continuous live broadcast of a six-day fjord cruise trip has turned into an unexpected ratings hit for Norwegian pubcaster NRK.

Figures from TNS Gallup show that 2.54 million Norwegians, more than half the country’s 4.93 million inhabitants, have watched “Hurtigruten — Minute by Minute,” which follows the MS Nord-Norge, a cruise ship owned by the Hurtigruten line, as it makes its way along the coast and into the fjords of Norway, a voyage of 1,460 nautical miles.

“I don’t think we’ve managed to digest just how much this has captivated viewers,” says Rune Moklebust, the show’s exec producer.

The coverage — put together onboard by a 22-strong TV crew with 11 cameras — is being carried by channel NRK2 and streamed live on NRK’s website.

The show’s highest viewing figures, 692,000, came at midnight on Sunday when the ship sailed into Trollfjord in Lofoten, lit by the Midnight Sun.

The program, which started June 16 as the MS Nord-Norge set sail from the southwestern city of Bergen, ran for 134 hours, ending when the ship docked on June 22 in the Arctic port of Kirkenes, greeted by Norway’s Queen Sonja, who waved from her yacht.

The show has turned into what Norwegians call a “folkefest,” as crowds of well-wishers and brass bands meet the ship at each port of call, and a flotilla of boats sail alongside.

Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg joined in the party spirit when he wrote on Twitter, “This is Norway at its absolute best.”

The website coverage has drawn viewers from outside Norway, with NRK estimating that 7% of viewers came from Denmark and 4% each from the U.S., the U.K., Germany and France.

NRK is making all footage available to other websites for free, as long it is attributed to the network.

Moklebust admits the footage can be dull in parts. “Some say it’s like watching paint dry, but it’s so fun to sit in the master control room and mix the cameras,” he says.

During quiet periods when the ship is docked, live footage is interspersed with archive material focusing on different aspects of Norwegian culture.

It’s not the first time Moklebust has taken Norwegians on an epic journey. In 2009, he produced a live show featuring a seven-hour train journey between Oslo and Bergen.

More TV

  • Merger Mayhem

    Merger Mayhem: Media Companies Scramble to Bulk Up in Order to Survive

    LONDON — The continuous live broadcast of a six-day fjord cruise trip has turned into an unexpected ratings hit for Norwegian pubcaster NRK. Figures from TNS Gallup show that 2.54 million Norwegians, more than half the country’s 4.93 million inhabitants, have watched “Hurtigruten — Minute by Minute,” which follows the MS Nord-Norge, a cruise ship […]

  • Crackle to Develop Series Based on

    Sony Crackle to Develop Sci-Fi Series Based on 'Heart of Darkness' (EXCLUSIVE)

    LONDON — The continuous live broadcast of a six-day fjord cruise trip has turned into an unexpected ratings hit for Norwegian pubcaster NRK. Figures from TNS Gallup show that 2.54 million Norwegians, more than half the country’s 4.93 million inhabitants, have watched “Hurtigruten — Minute by Minute,” which follows the MS Nord-Norge, a cruise ship […]

  • Crackle - The Oath season one

    50 Cent's 'The Oath' Renewed for Season 2 by Sony's Crackle

    LONDON — The continuous live broadcast of a six-day fjord cruise trip has turned into an unexpected ratings hit for Norwegian pubcaster NRK. Figures from TNS Gallup show that 2.54 million Norwegians, more than half the country’s 4.93 million inhabitants, have watched “Hurtigruten — Minute by Minute,” which follows the MS Nord-Norge, a cruise ship […]

  • Sky Orders Rock Documentary on Blondie

    Sky Orders Rock Documentary on Blondie Drummer Clem Burke (EXCLUSIVE)

    LONDON — The continuous live broadcast of a six-day fjord cruise trip has turned into an unexpected ratings hit for Norwegian pubcaster NRK. Figures from TNS Gallup show that 2.54 million Norwegians, more than half the country’s 4.93 million inhabitants, have watched “Hurtigruten — Minute by Minute,” which follows the MS Nord-Norge, a cruise ship […]

  • Viacom Launches MTV Classic in Philippines,

    APOS: Viacom Launches MTV Classic in Philippines, Nick Jr App in Australia

    LONDON — The continuous live broadcast of a six-day fjord cruise trip has turned into an unexpected ratings hit for Norwegian pubcaster NRK. Figures from TNS Gallup show that 2.54 million Norwegians, more than half the country’s 4.93 million inhabitants, have watched “Hurtigruten — Minute by Minute,” which follows the MS Nord-Norge, a cruise ship […]

  • Strictly Business Podcast: CNBC's David Faber

    Strictly Business Podcast: CNBC's David Faber on Covering Media Giants and Moguls

    LONDON — The continuous live broadcast of a six-day fjord cruise trip has turned into an unexpected ratings hit for Norwegian pubcaster NRK. Figures from TNS Gallup show that 2.54 million Norwegians, more than half the country’s 4.93 million inhabitants, have watched “Hurtigruten — Minute by Minute,” which follows the MS Nord-Norge, a cruise ship […]

  • Netflix U.K. Nabs Two Seasons of

    Netflix U.K. Nabs Two Seasons of Reality Hit ‘Love Island’

    LONDON — The continuous live broadcast of a six-day fjord cruise trip has turned into an unexpected ratings hit for Norwegian pubcaster NRK. Figures from TNS Gallup show that 2.54 million Norwegians, more than half the country’s 4.93 million inhabitants, have watched “Hurtigruten — Minute by Minute,” which follows the MS Nord-Norge, a cruise ship […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content