The peak season for premieres of new and returning TV shows is here. As it looks, this fall the season premieres are attracting roughly the same viewing in linear TV as last year’s season premieres. Hence, not making up for the general decline in overall broadcast viewing.
Traditional TV viewing has decreased substantially all through the Nordics in the past years and the 2019 autumn premiere season is no exception. Looking at trad TV viewing figures in Sweden mid-August to mid-September 2019, total viewing time decreased by 6% with significant drops for three of the four largest broadcasters.
Sweden: Viewing Decline in Traditional TV
Minute change (%), mid-August to mid-September 2019 YOY*, CO 3+
While Bonnier Broadcasting, NENT and public service broadcaster SVT all experienced decreased viewing, Discovery Networks increased slightly; +3% (or +0,5 min/day). The growth is a result of higher viewing in several of Discovery’s channels, both niche channels and the main channel Kanal 5.
This is also the time for autumn premieres and correspondingly the peak season for launches of new shows and season premieres of old favourites, which might boost viewing.
Recent Season Premieres by Swedish Broadcasters
Outcome of Top Season Premieres by Broadcaster
Trad TV: Viewing time (min) of selected season premieres autumn 2019 compared to 2018, CO 3+
So, let’s focus on the premieres of some of the channels’ most watched series in terms of viewing time. We can conclude that all of the selected premieres perform better compared to last year, except TV4’s entertainment show Idol. However, Idol still maintains a high level in absolute viewing figures just as Fångarna på Fortet with season finale last Friday.
Apart from these returning entertainment shows, several new series have aired; Discovery’s Över Atlanten, which premiered in late August, has had a strong opening, just as TV4’s new drama series Fartblinda. Kristian Luuk, who previously hosted Fråga Lund (which this year is hosted by Robin Paulsson), now has his own talk show Luuk & Hallberg that airs on SVT1 on Saturdays. The NENT Original Den inre cirkeln, that was launched on Viaplay during the spring of 2019, is now broadcasted on TV3 on Mondays.
In short, the Swedish viewers have plenty of content to enjoy this autumn. But even though the broadcasters launch new series and strong titles return, the premieres cannot compensate for the overall viewing drop in traditional TV. Many viewers migrate to watch online instead. Looking at the above-mentioned season premiers in online video instead, all of these, except for Efterlyst, show substantial increases; Fråga Lund with the strongest increase in online viewing (+53% YOY according to MMS).
Evidently, Swedish broadcasters face a problematic situation. Even though some of the loss in traditional viewing can be offset by the increase in online viewing, competition in online is fierce. Especially as the launch of several new international streaming services draws closer, rendering a high interest among the Swedish audience, as reported in our press release last week.
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*Events where Mediavision will be presenting