If you’re a TV addict worried about getting your fix in Norway – fear not! Norwegian TV features a wealth of English language shows, especially British and American.
American Sitcoms such as Friends, The Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men are popular along with entertainment shows such as The Simpsons, Family Guy and American Dad.
Depending on your subscription you may receive BBC Nordic’s selection of British TV. Whilst you can’t get the actual UK channels, you do get a selection of reruns of classics (!) such as QI, The Graham Norton Show and Live at the Apollo.
BBC World News and CNN are both available, along with several other cable channels dedicated to foreign programming.
The majority of TV is provided by the cable providers Canal Digital and GET-TV. The most popular channels are NRK1 and NRK 2, TV Norge, Viasat4, and the TV2 suite of channels including TV2 Zebra.
Subtitled, not Dubbed
English language programming is subtitled rather than dubbed. The one exception is cartoons which are dubbed for children – although cartoons aimed at older generations such as Family Guy and South Park are available in all their glory!
Something to be aware of if bringing a young family to Norway – the English-language programming tends to contain a lot less bleeps over swearing than is customary elsewhere!
Sport on TV
A limited amount of sport is available on regular TV, including some Norwegian football, skiing, and handball. European football (and additional Norwegian football) is available through the premium offerings from TV2 Sport Premium, C-More Football, and Viasat Football.
At the time of writing Viasat4, included with most subscriptions, broadcasts a small selection of games from the NFL and NHL.
The TV License
Norway has a state-owned broadcaster, NRK, for which every owner of a TV must pay a license fee. The annual license for 2012 costs 2,680 NOK, payable in two installments.
Anyone who is registered with a licence, and their spouse or partner, can have more than one TV set in the same household, provided those TVs are used by them and any children who are fully in their care. TV sets in holiday homes, cabins, caravans, pleasure boats or outside the household otherwise come under the same registered licence
For more information about the TV license, you can view the NRK website.
Norwegian television is known the world over for its slow TV concept. It’s simply the reverse of all the instant gratification reality TV and 24-hour news shows we’ve learned to love (!) over recent years. Slow TV focuses in on one topic and explores it in real-time.
Things kicked off back in 2009 with the live broadcast of the famous Oslo to Bergen railway journey, from the driver’s perspective. The 500km rail journey is northern Europe’s highest, reaching over 1,200m above sea level as it crosses the Hardangervidda plateau. When the scenic views were interrupted by the 182 tunnels on the line, NRK broadcast interviews with passengers, former workers and historians, along with archive clips from the line’s 100-year history. It is estimated that at least 25% of Norwegians watched at least part of the broadcast. Read more about slow TV.