AMSTERDAM — Scandinavian Broadcasting System is out with new details on the kick-off of its second European terrestrial network, TvDanmark, set for April 7.
The launch takes place less than seven months after the Disney/ABC-backed group started up a national affiliate network of what is now 18 local channels in Norway.
SBS chairman and CEO Harry Evans Sloan tells Daily Variety both the Danish and Norwegian markets were ripe for networking because they were still “under-televisioned” and had too few competitors. In Denmark, he pointed out, less than 20% of the ad spend goes to television.
The new 24-hour eight-channel net will feature an unabashedly top-heavy primetime sked of U.S. programming, including DreamWorks’ “Spin City,” MTM’s “The Pretender” and NBC’s “Profiler,” mixed in with American fea-ture pics and 30%-40% local product. Plans are for the chain to have hourlong local windows of news at 5:30 p.m. and 11 p.m.
SBS senior vice president in Denmark Bo Linnerup said TvDanmark plans to heavily counterprogram its main competition, national commercial state charter Tv2/Danmark, in order to nab its share of auds and advertising. Sloan forecasts TvDanmark will break even in three years, will take a 10% slice of the total TV ad pie in Norway by the end of 1997 and will push that up to 25% in three years. Currently TV2’s monopoly on national advertising revenue gives it nearly all of the commercial TV ad coin in the territory.
Transmitting through local flagship Copenhagen channel Kanal 2, the first SBS channel launched eight years ago, TvDanmark expects to expand its 71% reach at startup to 80% by next August when the Norwegian telecom launches its Thor 2 on One Degree West.