Television market in Sweden - Statistics & Facts

Published by Julia Stoll, Feb 8, 2019
In comparison to other countries, Sweden’s TV broadcasting began relatively late, officially started in 1956 by the government and initiated by Radiotjänst. Television was available free of advertising and funded by license fees. After another public service TV station was established, the first commercial channel – TV3 – started broadcasting in 1987. Today, the Swedish television market is dominated by four companies. Nordic Entertainment Group generating the most revenue (almost 12 billion Swedish kronor), public broadcaster Sveriges Television AB (SVT), Bonnier’s TV4 Group and media company Discovery Networks Sweden. As measured by the audience share of television channels in Sweden, the public service station SVT1, commercial channel TV4 as well as SVT2 were most popular.

According to the International Video Federation, the number of TV households in Sweden in 2017 amounted to roughly 4.6 million. This means that 91 percent of individuals had access to TV sets at home; of these 85 percent still used traditional TVs. The most common technology to receive a television signal was analogue cable, with 2.4 million subscriptions in 2017, followed by Internet Protocol Television, abbreviated as IPTV (roughly 1.2 million subscribers) and digital TV through a cable network (740,000 users). A different survey conducted by NORDICOM found that more than half of Swedish households received TV via broadband and/or cable. In particular 25 to 64-year-olds watched television using these technologies.

While the average daily television viewing time in Sweden decreased from 160 minutes in 2008 to 133 minutes in 2018, watching TV on the internet gains more and more popularity. From 2011 to 2017, the share of individuals watching online television services per day in Sweden increased by 12 percent, reaching 33 percent of respondents in 2017. The most used device to download or stream television content was the computer, according to 46 percent of Swedes interviewed as of 2018. Smart TV and mobile phones ranked second, with a share of 38 percent each. The least used device to watch TV were video game consoles. With nearly one million hours, SVT Play was by far the online network with the highest average daily viewing time in the country in 2018. In comparison, only 256,649 hours were spent on watching TV4 online.

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