Television in Norway

Television in Norway

Television in Norway was introduced in 1954. Nowadays, 40% of the population have cable TV, and 30% have satellite TV. Another 30% have terrestrial television only.


Analogue terrestrial television

The first television channel in Norway, NRK was started officially in 1960, but had regular programs since 1954. A second television channel, TV2 was started in 1992. NRK started a second television channel, NRK2 in 1996. NRK1 goes out to 99,8% of all households, while TV2 has a 92% coverage and NRK2 and NRK3/NRK Super has 80% coverage. There are today 24 local television channels in the country, all terrestrially transmitted. The first channel, TVBudstikka was started in 1986. Many of them cooperate with TVNorge, so that TVNorge use their transmitters when they are not broadcasting any programs.

Channel Description Financed by Owned by Launched Terrestrial coverage
NRK1 Public Broadcaster Licence Norsk Rikskringkasting 1960 99,8%
NRK2 Public Broadcaster Licence Norsk Rikskringkasting 1996 80%
NRK Super and NRK3 Public Broadcaster Licence Norsk Rikskringkasting 2007 80%
TV 2 General Entertainment Channel Commercials Egmont Holding AS and A-Pressen ASA 1992 92%
TVNorge General Entertainment Channel Commercials ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG 1988 Sharing frequences with many local-tv stations.

Digital terrestrial television

The introduction of DVB-T is regulated by the Ministry of Culture and Church Affairs. Analogue TV broadcasting was completely closed on 1 December 2009[1]. Norway uses the DVB H.264/MPEG-4 AVC coding standards.

In June 2002, a 12-year nationwide licence, including the roll-out of infrastructure, was publicly announced, met only by the application of Norges Televisjon (NTV), a joint venture between the state-owned broadcaster NRK, the leading private broadcaster TV 2, and the largest Norwegian telecommunications company Telenor. In February 2004, the Norwegian parliament passed the final regulations on digital broadcasting to the Ministry of Culture and Church Affairs,[2] leaving the Ministry to create a licence agreement for NTV. The Ministry showed their proposal for a licence in December 2004.

NTV was faced with more complicated regulations than they expected (such as the licence running already from roll-out of infrastructure). Therefore, in February 2005 NTV applied for extending their licence period from 12 yrs to 15 yrs, and consequently the Ministry publicly announced the licence once again, announcement period expiring 2 May 2005.[3] If licence is granted NTV during 2005, the company says it plans to roll-out infrastructure during 2006-2009, offering the Norwegian public between 15 and 18 TV stations; of them NRK1, NRK2, TV2, TV2 Zebra and a local channel.

The EFTA competition authorities, ESA,[4] has protested on the application process, saying the ministry is not in position to grant the DVB-T licence to a state-owned company like NTV, but ministry says this protest will not affect their decision.

Digital terrestrial television is now available in all counties of Norway. Analogue TV broadcasting was switched off in Rogaland (4 March 2008), Østfold (29 April 2008), Oslo and Akershus (20 May 2008), Buskerud, Vestfold and Telemark (2 September 2008), Hordaland (30 September 2008) and Møre og Romsdal (28 October 2008)[5].

Cable and satellite television

When the television and radio monopoly of NRK was lifted in 1982, cable television networks that carried foreign TV channels started to appear in the larger cities around the country. When satellite television was allowed in 1986 it paved the way for several new Norwegian channels. The first of these TVNorge began broadcasting in 1988 and was soon followed by TV3 in 1989.

National Community TV channel

In January 2009 the Minister of Culture inaugurated Frikanalen, a national community channel which broadcasts from Oslo on the national DTT-network established in 2008, which reaches 98% of Norwegian households. Frikanalen is a non-profit open channel for NGOs, and today has 57 member organisations. The channel is open to everyone. Editorial responsibility lies with the producers. All programs are archived on internet and can be seen there. The goal of Frikanalen is to strengthen freedom of expression and participative democracy by giving people more opportunity to express themselves through television.

Viewing shares

The following table shows the shares of total viewing for a few selected Norwegian channels.[6][7][8]

NRK1 64 55 51 45 43 41 41 36 37.7 38.1 39.2 40.2 40.7 40.1 39.9 37.6 32.4 31.9 32.5
NRK2 3 2 3 3 3 3 3 4 4 4 3.6 3.4 3.4 4.1 4.6
NRK3 1.9 3.0 3.8
TV 2 6 19 24 30 32 31 30 31 31.7 31.4 32.2 29.5 30.0 29.4 30.1 28.9 25.3 22.1 20.5
TV 2 Zebra 3.0 3.2 3
TVNorge 8 8 8 8 7 8 9 9 9.5 10.1 9.6 10.3 9.5 11.0 9.9 9.4 8.4 7.5 7.3
FEM 1.5 2.0 2.4
TV3 6 6 6 6 6 6 7 8 7.8 6.7 6.0 6.4 6.4 6.1 6.0 5.4 6.3 6.5 6.2
Viasat4 2.4 3.6 3.7
Discovery Channel 1.9 1.8 1.6
MTV Norway 0.3 0.3 0.3
National Geographic Channel 0.9 0.8 0.9

See also

  • List of television stations in Norway


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