Last Tuesday the commercial broadcasting group TV2 Norway sent shockwaves through the media industry by announcing the station will be cutting NOK 350 million by 2020. TV2 Norway is known for bringing us television dramas Occupied and Acquitted. However, season two of Occupied will be premiered on the streaming service Viaplay six months before airing on TV2.
These cuts include downsizing and job losses, though we are unsure of the specific details. Employees were immediately offered to apply for a severance package. The move is a bid to head towards digital viewing after heavy competition from international heavyweights like YouTube, Netflix and Amazon.
In an official statement sent after the group’s Board meeting in Bergen on Tuesday, Sandves said: “The time for gradual changes in the industry is over and the time for gradual changes in TV2 will also come to an end. It’s time for us to equip ourselves in the best possible way to achieve further growth.”
Sandves added: “TV2’s main task is to continue to create content that our viewers want. We must steer the transformation towards a fully-fledged digital TV business where TV2 Sumo [the group’s online subscription service] takes a bigger place than today. To achieve this, we must be prepared to meet the needs and expectations of future viewers, users and advertising customers.”
Media commentator Knut Kristian Hauger from the trade publication Kampanje told nrk.no: “This is the most severe cut programme that TV2 has ever undertaken in its 25-year history. At the same time, it’s happening in all other media firms, be it Schibsted, NRK or A-Media. Everyone is cutting and preparing for a new competitive situation.”