Swedish media output 2014
More than two-thirds of the output on the public service channels SVT1 and SVT2 are national productions. Among the commercial channels, half of the TV4 output is of Swedish origin, while the others are dominated by English language productions. The Swedish productions are often placed in prime time. These are some characteristics of the media output, as revealed in a study by the Broadcasting Authority.
The annual report on Swedish media output describes the programming of the major TV channels, plus a selection of certain on-demand services and radio channels for the past year and over time. One aim is to measure the selection and diversity on a number of different TV channels.
Information- or entertainment-oriented TV channels?
The scope of a TV channel is determined by how the supply is distributed across 19 programme categories. Already the three largest categories for each channel indicate an entertainment profile among the commercial TV channels and a more information-oriented approach among the public service channels (SVT).
The three major programme categories for eight channels, share of airtime by channel (per cent)
Note: Reality corresponds to the category Other reality entertainment. It does not include Docusoaps, which has a category of its own.
Source: Svenskt medieutbud 2014 (p. 23), Swedish Broadcasting Authority (processed).
Considering the total output, Kanal 5, TV6 and TV8 stand out as purely entertainment channels (almost 100 per cent of their content is entertainment). As for the public service channels SVT1 and SVT2 combined, the most prominent content is information-oriented (61 per cent information, 39 per cent entertainment and sports). Channel-wise, SVT2 is more oriented towards information (78 per cent of total output) and SVT1 entertainment and sports (52 per cent). The output of the largest commercial channel, TV4, comprises a third information-oriented content and two-thirds entertainment-oriented.
Swedish TV programmes in prime time
The proportion of Swedish-produced programmes on SVT’s two main channels is 66 and 73 per cent, respectively. The respective share of Nordic productions, Sweden included, accounts for 77 and 80 per cent. On TV4, almost half of the output has Swedish origin. For other commercial TV channels in the survey, the proportion of Swedish-produced programmes ranges from 1 per cent (TV6) to 18 per cent (Sjuan), while the dominant content is comprised of US and UK productions. Other Nordic programming on the commercial channels is mostly zero per cent.
There is a clear tendency that national programmes are often scheduled for prime time. On TV4, 70 per cent of the supply in prime time is Swedish-produced, and on Sjuan (belonging to the TV4 Group) this figure is 47 per cent.
Swedish-produced TV programmes as share of total output and prime time in 2014 (share of airtime, per cent)
Note: Prime time includes programmes with a start time of 19:00 to 21:59. For Barnkanalen (SVT’s children’s channel), which broadcast no more than six hours per week in the prime time span, we report the total only.
Source: Svenskt medieutbud 2014 (p. 24), Swedish Broadcasting Authority.
Sports, non-fiction and reality entertainment on-demand
The purpose of studying the TV channels’ on-demand services – the so-called play services – is to compare the range with the offer of the respective TV channel during the same period of time. Only programmes that can be watched free of charge are included in the study, which corresponds to 120 hours/week on SVT Play, 54 hours/week on TV4 Play, 13 hours on TV3 Play and 9 hours on Kanal 5. The Swedish programmes dominate on all four play services; for commercial channels substantially more than their main channel, a reason being limited rights for the retransmission of programmes online.
The main programme areas of SVT Play are sport and factual programming (25 and 22 per cent), while the commercial TV channels are dominated by reality entertainment (two-thirds of the content of Kanal 5 Play and almost half of the supply of TV3 Play). The on-demand services’ balance of entertainment and information content corresponds well with the orientation of the TV channels.
Radio broadcasts round the clock
With the exception of SR P1, the surveyed radio stations broadcast 24/7. The commercial radio networks Rix FM’s and Mix Megapol’s main content is mixed programmes (music interspersed with talk) and music programmes, while the channels of the public service organization Sveriges Radio (SR) have distinctive profiles. SR P1 is dominated by news (33 per cent) and factual programming, SR P2 by classical music and minority programmes, SR P3 by a youth-oriented output in various programme categories, and SR P4 by a local output – a blend of news, talk and music – and sports in the evenings and on the weekends.
Download Svenskt medieutbud 2014 (in Swedish, PDF format)
About the survey: The study of Swedish media output is part of the Swedish Broadcasting Authority’s mandate to monitor and report on how programming in the Swedish media is evolving. The aim is to conduct recurring, systematic and long-term scientific studies of the output offered on Swedish television and radio. The reports have been published annually since 1998. Initially the focus was on TV only, but from 2012 the television on-demand services and public service radio are included, and from 2013 also Sweden’s largest commercial radio networks, Rix FM and Mix Megapol. All surveys have been conducted by the Department of Journalism, Media and Communication at the University of Gothenburg (JMG) and led by Professor Kent Asp. Reports from 2009 are available on the Authority’s website.
BY: EVA HARRIE