Five recommendations for better access to Nordic TV
Reduce geoblocking for Nordic public service TV online. This is suggested in a report examining how people in the Nordics could get access to more Nordic TV programmes. The report Nordisk tv på tværs af grænser [Nordic TV across the borders], in Danish, was published by the Nordic Council of Ministers in May.
Geoblocking is a common obstacle for Nordic TV viewers wanting to watch online TV services from neighbouring Nordic countries. This entails that a programme can be watched only in a certain country, while it is blocked in others.
Throughout the Nordic region, streamed TV and film content is increasing at the expense of linear television. Behind this growth are mainly global streaming platforms, Netflix especially.
Against this background, the Nordic Council of Ministers commissioned a study on how to increase access to streamed TV programmes from all Nordic public service companies, across Nordic borders. The hope is that the growth of streamed content will not come at the expense of the Nordic TV and film offering, but rather alongside an increased Nordic offering of quality TV.
The report shows that, among the Nordic public service companies, RÚV has the largest share (65 per cent) of geoblocked content, followed by SVT (43 per cent), Yle (40 per cent), and NRK (34 per cent). DR has the smallest proportion (26 per cent) of blocked content.
The report’s main recommendation is that public service companies block programmes only when absolutely necessary.
Other suggestions for improving accessibility to Nordic TV
In addition to the suggestion of reduced geoblocking, the report makes four more recommendations for increasing access to digital TV content throughout the Nordic region:
- Continued development of cooperation within Nordvision (including Nordic 12); that is, co-production and exchange of programmes between the Nordic public service companies.
- Continued development of TV distributors’ range of programming from neighbouring countries.
- Establishment of a copyright framework regulating the redistribution of TV-on-demand services across the Nordic countries.
- Implementation of the amendment to the EU satellite and cable directive, approved by the European Parliament in March 2019 (see also EUR-lex database).
Norden.org, May 27, 2019: New report: Nordic TV across borders
More about the report: The Nordic TV across borders report describes the television markets in the Nordic countries, the accessibility to Nordic television today, and current copyright rules. The Nordic statistics on the TV market come from Nordicom's statistical database.
The report was written by Lauritzen Consulting, Oxford Research, and Martin Gormsen Consulting, on commission by the Nordic Council of Ministers for Culture. The decision to initiate the study was made following Nordic Council recommendation 31/2017, “Abolition of geoblocking”.