Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK)’s decision to air 60 hours of choir-singing in a row during the weekend ended up attracting around 2 million viewers during the course of the marathon broadcast. Not bad, in a country of just 5 million people.
Around 87,000 viewers turned in at any one time, NRK reported on Tuesday as ratings were made public. That’s higher than the ratings were for a “national knitting evening” but less than several other of NRK’s “slow-TV” programs that have featured train rides and 200 years of the history of Norway in 200 minutes.
NRK reported that the overall ratings throughout the weekend for NRK’s channel 2, where the program aired, were nearly double what they normally are in a weekend. Viewers tuned in and tuned out, as the program called Salmeboka featured around 200 choirs singing their way through all 899 psalms in Norway’s new hymn book.
NRK officials said they were satisfied with the figures, not least since the choir marathon was up against some other popular local TV programs including the finale of a reality show called Farmen (The Farm) on rival commercial station TV2.