Newsletter July 11: Sweden: Trad TV viewing first half of 2018 down -6% in spite of big sport events

11 July 2018

2018 is a year of great live events: Starting out with the winter Olympics in February, and the FIFA Football World Cup currently underway. In Sweden, a general election will be held September 9 – historically good news for broadcast TV. Adding the events together, 2018 holds all the right ingredients for a year of boosted traditional TV viewing. Now, summarizing the first six months of 2018, we see that traditional TV ratings are on a continuous downward facing slope – also in comparison to the rather uneventful year of 2017.

Mediavision has earlier pointed out (see newsletter from April 18) the weak results of Q1, as traditional TV ratings plunged across the Nordics, despite the Pyeongchang Olympics. Viewing decreased across the board, and especially amongst younger target groups (in ages 10-25 with as much as -20% as a Nordic average). Furthermore, the decrease in viewing isn’t exclusive to the younger target groups. Viewing in ages 25-34 decreased by roughly 20% across the Nordics as well.

Zooming in on Sweden, total viewing for the first half (H1) of 2018 decreased by -6% YOY (year-on-year) in the total population (3+). The downward trend is, again, very strong in younger audiences (e g 15-24 year-olds) with a decrease of 15% H1 (vs H1 2017). The Pyeongchang Olympics didn’t quite do the job, but the FIFA World Cup appears to have had a greater impact on broadcast ratings. In June, viewing actually increased slightly in the total population and significantly so among the younger viewers.

Change in viewing time (%) H1 YOY & June YOY

The World Cup rights in Sweden are shared between the major commercial broadcaster TV4 (Bonnier Broadcasting) and public service broadcaster SVT. So far, SVT has taken the greatest relative advantage of this event as viewing time among 15-24 year-olds has increased by 85% during June (vs June 2017). Sweden’s games are particularly popular. Saturday’s quarter final loss vs England captured a 99% share of viewers in ages 15-24. However, looking at viewing in the average population (3+), TV4 has seen a larger growth of 11% during June.

Broadcasters not able to reap the benefits of the FIFA World Cup, namely NENT Group (formerly MTG) and Discovery, have seen their viewership dwindle during June. Compared to June last year, NENT Group and Discovery have seen a decrease in viewing in the average population by -16% and -7% respectively. In the ages 15-24 the decrease is significantly larger, with NENT Group decreasing -43% and Discovery decreasing -31% YOY during June.

To conclude, viewing development so far is in line with Mediavision’s estimate for 2018; a decline of
-6% (3+), with a strong emphasis on younger target groups (read more in our recently published Swedish TV Market 2018/2019).

Now summer is here and all your friends at Mediavision would like to wish you a happy and sunny holiday – we’ll be back in in full force in august!

Mediavision blogs:

Netflix’ pricing and packaging strategy – going Ultra
Earlier this week, the OTT titan Netflix confirmed its’ testing of a new subscription plan in Europe – the “Ultra plan”. How does Ultra differ from its three other subscription tiers? And why Ultra? This week, Mediavision elaborates on some of the questions […].

Mediavision press releases:

World Cup and re-regulation increases competition on the Swedish gambling market
Competition between off-shore regulated and Swedish gambling companies have increased significantly as a re-regulation of the Swedish gambling market draws closer. With a new licensing system being introduced in January 2019, several off-shore […].

Industry news:

Sweden vs. England breaks World Cup record
The match between Sweden and England on Saturday soared past the figures from the last time Sweden played in a World Cup quarterfinals in 1994. Saturdays match attained a viewership of nearly 2.8 million, beating the 2.4 million viewers of 1994.

Apple Music overtakes Spotify in the US
Apple Music now has more paying subscribers than Spotify in the US, according to Digital Music News. Both companies now have in excess of 20 million US subscribers, with Apple Music pulling ahead slightly.

Youtube pledges to fight fake news
Youtube has announced its pledging 25 million dollars to help support legitimate news organizations. Also, new features to flag misinformation and highlight authoritative news sources were announced.

Sonos has filed for an IPO
American smart speaker company Sonos has filed for an IPO. Sonos has sold a grand total of 19 million products spread across 6.9 million households worldwide. WSJ estimates Sonos to be valued at around 3 billion dollars.

Facebook wins Premier League rights
Facebook has sealed a 200 million USD deal to stream Premier League in south east Asia, outbidding beIn Sports and Fox Sports Asia. All 380 matches until 2022 will be broadcasted in Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.

Tencent to launch Wegame internationally
Tencent plans to launch an international version of its PC gaming marketplace WeGame. Furthermore, in similar fashion Vavle has announced a partnership with Perfect World to bring its marketplace Steam to China.

Fox ups bid for Sky, pushing past Comcast
21st Century Fox has increased its bid to acquire the rest of Sky in a deal that values Europe’s biggest satcaster at 32.5 billion USD, pushing past a rival offer from Comcast.

Ericsson Media Solutions becomes Mediakind
Ericsson Media Solutions is rebranding as Mediakind. Ericsson will divest a 51% majority stake in its media and technology outfit to One Equity Partners. A move that executives expects to be completed in Q3.

Com Hem Q2 report published
Com Hem recently published its Q2 report. The company reports an increase in overall revenue of 1.1% to 1.815 million SEK and a decrease in EBITDA by 2.1% to 693 million SEK. The Boxer segment decreased in unique customers by -7000.

Mediavision in the news:

Ny lagstiftning ökar konkurrensen på svensk spelmarknad
När allt fler utlandsreglerade spelbolag etablerar sig i Sverige kommer ett nytt licenssystem att införas i januari 2019. I samband med att en ny lagstiftning närmar sig ökar också […].

Foreign gambling firms likely to set up shop in Sweden ahead of licensing introduction in 2019
Swedish consultancy Mediavision expects a raft of gambling companies currently regulated overseas to set up in Sweden, ahead of the new licensing system on 01 January 2019.

Industry events

*Events where Mediavision will be presenting