NRK sets pace with ‘slow TV’

Norwegian public broadcaster NRK seems to have struck the right chord with a five-day long Hurtigruten live broadcast covering the famous sea route along the Norwegian coast.

In what is probably the best example of ‘slow TV’, NRK broadcasts the whole trip live minute by minute for 134 hours. People have travelled along the Norwegian coastline with Hurtigruten since 1893 in a journey known as “The World’s Most Beautiful Sea Voyage”.

As NRK claims: “Now everybody can travel along in the world’s longest TV programme! Spectacular fjords, midnight sun and genuine Norwegian scenery make the setting for a trip from Bergen to Kirkenes.”

Telenor Satellite Broadcasting is providing live satellite transmissions and ground-based services, in co-operation with Telenor Maritime Radio (TMR), for NRK’s longest-ever live broadcast at sea. NRK is using the Hurtigruten vessel MS Nordnorge and visiting all 34 ports along the Norwegian coast. The broadcast began at 19.54 CET on June 16 in Bergen.

Telenor Satellite Broadcasting is delivering satellite transmission capacity directly to NRK for its live broadcasts, which are running until June 22. TSBc is also providing antenna services from its Nittedal teleport, together with TMR’s complete maritime-communication package (which includes gyrostabalised VSAT antenna, Smartbox and mobile broadband services), directly to the Hurtigruten ship – a complete onboard communications solution that includes live webstreaming.

“Along with TSBc’s excellent satellite coverage for broadcasts and TMR’s maritime communication solution, NRK will be able to capture innovative levels of engagement with a wide audience as they take on this new-media challenge whilst at sea” said Cato Halsaa, vice president and CEO, Telenor Satellite Broadcasting.

NRK has installed multiple cameras onboard the Hurtigruten ship, broadcasting and recording all 8,040 minutes of this classic voyage. This is a unique broadcasting experience where NRK is documenting every second of the five-and-a-half-day journey. Since embarking on this experimental voyage, they have been calling upon the public at large to interact and contribute via the web and live broadcasts.

Audience reaction seems to be amazing – along the route thousands of people are waving at the ship passing by, waving Norwegian flags – and sometime tourists even waving Dutch and Frisian flags!

The live broadcast of the Hurtigruten can also be followed live on a special web TV stream put online by NRK. More information in English on the project can be found on the NRK beta site blog (pictures courtesy of NRK)