British Airways to offer NRK’s Slow TV

In a bid to offer passengers something relaxing to watch on long hauls, British Airways will launch Norwegian pubcaster NRK's Slow TV (pictured) on its in-flight entertainment systems in July.
June 25, 2014

British Airways is to introduce Norwegian pubcaster NRK’s Slow TV on its international flight from in July.

The format, which premiered in Norway three years ago, uses fixed cameras to continuously film a single event, such as 18 hours of salmon fishing, or a 134-hour cruise along the Norwegian coast (pictured), and is aired in real-time.

The airline will launch Slow TV on its in-flight entertainment system with a seven-hour train journey from Bergen to Oslo (pictured) and may introduce more segments Рsuch as birds and squirrels in vintage-style bird houses; knitting; salmon fishing; and burning logs Рdepending on the success of the first program.

British Airways decided to program Slow TV after one its reps at marketing agency Spafax heard about the format’s cult status in Norway and tracked it down. The idea is to offer passengers something relaxing to watch on long hauls akin to a “live painting.”

“It fits perfectly with the wallpaper-style footage people find mesmerizing in-flight, such as our moving maps which customers watch for endless hours,” said in-flight entertainment manager Richard D’Cruze.¬†“There’s definitely a hypnotic, calming and entertaining quality to Slow TV that is perfect for in-flight entertainment.”

“Audience feedback tells us that the concept of Slow TV changes the purpose of the screen itself – from an entertainment machine to something more akin to a live painting on the wall,” added NRK head of format development Ole Hedemann. “Hence it makes people feel more relaxed.”

Distributor DRG brokered the deal. Last year, the company sold the U.S. remake rights to the format to Los Angeles-based indie LMNO Productions.

In November, 1.3 million people tuned in to watch NRK’s National Knitting Evening, a 12-hour live event featuring people knitting and talking about knitting.

About The Author
Managing editor with realscreen publication, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Darah is an award-winning journalist who has spent over two decades covering a wide range of issues from real estate and urban development to immigration, politics and human rights, primarily with The Vancouver Sun. Prior to joining realscreen, she was editor of Stream Daily, realscreen's sister publication covering the dynamic global digital video industry. She also served a stint as a war reporter in Afghanistan for television and print, and was a national business blogger with Yahoo Canada.