Television Business International

Nordic pubcasters combine to fight SVOD threat

Maria Rørbye RønnPublic broadcasters in Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Iceland are forming an alliance to combat the threat of global SVOD services.

The director generals of DR in Denmark, NRK in Norway, SVT in Sweden, YLE in Finland and RUV in Iceland released a joint statement noting their organisations have committed to coproducing a number of “quality Nordic dramas”.

A meeting in Stockholm had been called in response to the growing influence of US-based international streaming services, the most notable of which are Netflix and Amazon.

“In order for Nordic public service drama to take place in a market with more competitiveness on television and streaming, public service providers DR, NRK, RUV, SVT and YLE have agreed on a new common strategy for greater coproduction of drama productions,” they said in a statement.

The agreement is expected to result in around twelve drama coproductions per year, with all series made available across the Nordic region online.

The pubcasters hope this will allow them to make faster decisions about dramas, and will increase the quality and volume of output.

YLE’s Marit Björkesten, who chair the pubcasters’ joint Nordvision organisation, added the agreement puts “a clear focus on drama that reflects a Nordic culture, reality and identity fits perfectly with the public service mission. It gives a sincere and recognisable promise to our users, which distinguishes us from other content providers”.

RUV’s director general, Magnús Geir Thordarson, said the goal was to have the pubcasters “recognised as the venue for the very best Nordic drama”.

THE AGREEMENT IN QUOTES

“Nordic drama competes with the best international fiction. Our new, common Nordic strategy and increased Nordic cooperation are important steps towards an even stronger public service drama offer than today. It will mean drama series that will become part of our common Nordic cultural heritage” – DR director general Maria Rørbye Rønn

“Looking at what the Nordic public service providers have provided in recent years in terms of quality drama, we are convinced that strengthening the cooperation will benefit the entire Nordic audience” – SVT director general Hanna Stjärne

“Close, long-term cooperation like this builds on trust. We have a long history of cooperation and have a fundamental trust in each other’s ability to produce world-class drama” – NRK director general Thor Gjermund Eriksen