Nordvision is a cooperative venture, established in 1959, between five Nordic public service broadcasters: Denmark's DR, Norway's NRK, Iceland's RÚV, Sweden's SVT and Finland's YLE. Sweden's SR and UR, Greenland's KNR and the Faroe Islands' KVF are associate members.
|Headquarters||DR Byen, Copenhagen, Denmark|
The founding of Nordvision was primarily based on cultural rather than economic incentives. The Nordic countries are important potential markets for one another's productions. One of the original thoughts was to take advantage of the similarity of the Scandinavian languages, even if in practice, while the languages are closely related, they are too far apart to be fully understood without subtitles when television series are broadcast to the audiences in neighbouring countries. Nevertheless, other cultural similarities and the tradition of Nordic collaboration have favoured production and distribution of television programmes across Nordic countries.
Television was introduced in Western Europe in the early 1950s but came late to most Nordic countries. Denmark started regular broadcasts in 1954, Sweden in 1956, Finland in 1957, while Norway did not begin until 1960. Sweden, Finland and Norway have a large territory but a relatively small population, and one reason for the late introduction of television was related to the feasibility a transmitter system that would provide the majority of the population with access. Moreover, the government policy for example in Sweden concentrated efforts and financial resources on the construction of a network of stations rather than on increasing programming hours. Thus, a regional programme exchange was also seen as a solution to programme supply, particularly in categories with high productions costs, such as entertainment and drama. In this context, television was seen as having a potential to make a major contribution towards developing and fostering Nordic cooperation. Whilst the more extensive European exchange system Eurovision already existed since 1955, the programming it provided was focused on sports, news and cultural events, due to the technological constraints posed by live transmissions and language differences as it would not have been possible to provide subtitles. Mainly because of the late start of television in Norway, Nordvision began later than its wider European counterpart. Denmark and Sweden had begun cooperating in TV production as early as the summer of 1958, but the official start of the Nordic exchange did not take place until October 1959.
In contrast to Eurovision, the Nordvision exchange programmes also included light entertainment and popular music series, helping to make popular culture from the Nordic countries familiar across national borders.
Nordvision hosts six programme groups where the co-production and programme collaboration take place on a practical level: Children, culture, drama, knowledge, factual and investigative journalism.
The Nordvision Fund, established in 1988, is an important financing source for major drama productions. The Fund gets its revenues from cable distribution of TV programmes from the partners in the Nordic countries. The Fund's money is earmarked for Nordic co-productions and joint projects, and aims at strengthening the Nordic cultural cooperation and to stimulate the use of Nordic authors and performing artists.
The Nordic cooperation also contains a number of expert groups who meet regularly to exchange experience and knowledge. This collaboration encompasses several aspects, such as corporate strategy, program development, scheduling and copyright.