Swedish language ‘pushed off TV screens’

The amount of Swedish-language programming on Sweden's network television channels has fallen drastically over the past few years, with mainly English language imports taking up much of the slack.

Swedish language 'pushed off TV screens'
Photo: SVT/Marcimain-van Hoytema

The amount of Swedish programming in public service channels SVT1 and SVT2 has fallen significantly, according to a study by journalism professor Kent Asp.

The number of Swedish factual programmes fell 14 percent between 1998 and 2006, the number of feature films and drama or comedy series fell 35 percent and Swedish-language light entertainment programmes fell 26 percent.

The fall in the total amount of Swedish programmes was stemmed somewhat by a rise in the time given to news programmes and breakfast TV. Despite this, Asp said the falls in other areas represented a marked weakening of the Swedish programme offering.

The number of foreign TV shows on Swedish network television has increased by 30 percent in the past three years, said Asp.

Asp came to the conclusions as part of a study commissioned by parliament on how SVT and commercial network channel TV4 live up to their public service remit. Asp also criticized TV4 for not devoting enough time to culture programming. He said culture was given the lowest priority in TV4’s schedule.

Overall, Asp said that SVT and TV4 were fulfilling their remit, although said there was room for improvement.