Exclusive: TV2’s Anette Rømer on “business as usual” in Denmark

Anette Romer

All this week, TBI is hearing from broadcasters around the world about the impact that the Coronavirus pandemic is having on their businesses. Today we speak to Anette Rømer at Denmark’s TV2, about how the Danish operator has strengthened local content but passed on “Corona programming”

It might be surprising to hear, considering what is happening in the world right now, but operations have been largely unaffected when it comes to programme acquisitions at Denmark’s TV2, says Rømer, the outgoing head of acquisitions and formats at TV2.

“The majority of deals over the past two weeks were already in negotiation, while current acquisitions are for shows that meet our ongoing programme needs. That might change during the next months but as of now it is business as usual regarding the need for acquisition,” she tells TBI.

Meeting [distributors] online for the first time is OK… but nothing beats face-to-face human contact. Personal relationships are everything in this business

Anette Rømer, TV2’s head of acquisitions & formats

Neither has the Danish broadcaster felt the need to fill its schedules with content dedicated to the virus. “We are constantly monitoring all the ‘Corona programming’ on offer, but so far we haven’t acquired any,” says Rømer. “The pandemic is moving incredibly quickly and varies from country to country – as does the advice and coping strategies. Our news department is working at full capacity and is the best source of information for Danish viewers.”

Instead, while Rømer says schedule gaps may appear later in the year, TV2 has been able to use re-runs of local programming alongside the acquisition of “strong Danish film titles.”

She explains: “Our biggest challenge has been turning sports channel Sport X into a film channel, due to the lack of live sports.”

Denmark’s The Bachelor postponed

When it comes to programmes in production, the scene in Denmark mirrors that reflected globally. “All live shows are halted – The X Factor, which was coming towards its climax, is a big challenge – and regrettably we’ve had to postpone various new productions, most notably The Bachelor, which was due to start filming now for a summer transmission,” continues Rømer, adding: “This was part of a major strategy to strengthen our AVOD service TV2 Play.”

On a more positive note, Rømer says that the past few weeks have shown the world just how important a role broadcast television can play in people’s lives.

“I firmly believe this crisis has been a great advert for the position of linear television at the heart of family life. We provide isolated people with a companion that provides both entertainment and reassurance. We provide viewers with the latest medical advice – advice that they can trust.”

And while acquisitions might currently be “business as usual” and executives are quickly adapting to working from home, Rømer says that it is hard not to miss being able to meet people in person. “Meeting [distributors] online for the first time is OK, and we will get through this period, but nothing beats face-to-face human contact. Personal relationships are everything in this business.”

Read more from TBI’s coverage about how buyers around the world are adapting to Covid-19 below:

Exclusive: RTÉ’s Dermot Horan on ‘buying time’ as production slows
Exclusive: How are int’l buyers working around Covid-19?

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