All good Eurovision fans will know of that certain country in Scandinavia that happens to be hosting this year’s contest in May. Current champion Måns Zelmerlöw did have to compete to get to Vienna last year, due to Sweden’s selection process – it wasn’t just a stroll in the park for him. Some would call it long and onerous, but others would call it a great TV spectacle that unites the country of just under 10 million people.
Whatever you think of Melodifestivalen, or, ahem, Melfest, or indeed, ahem, MF, you have to agree that the six shows are very entertaining. And it’s because they entertaining, or perhaps because those Swedes are massive fans, that big audiences follow it.
Figures recently published by the Swedish Statistical Office show that the 2015 season of MF programmes, the Eurovision Grand Final, were almost the most-watched programmes in Sweden in the whole of 2015. I use the word almost as the second most-watched programme on 2015 in Sweden was Christmas Eve’s Kalle Anka och hans vänner (Donald Duck and his friends). This little festive treat aside, it’s fair to say that Eurovision is still big in Sweden, despite the reports to the contrary. The full top 8 programmes on SVT in 2015 were:
- Melodifestivalen Grand Final – 3,771,000 viewers
- Kalle Anka och hans vänner – 3,460,000 viewers
- Melodifestivalen Semi-final 1 – 3,450,000 viewers
- Melodifestivalen Semi-final 2 – 3,372,000 viewers
- Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final – 3,300,000 viewers
- Melodifestivalen Semi-final 3 – 3,168,000 viewers
- Melodifestivalen Semi-final 4 – 3,135,000 viewers
- Melodifestivalen Andra Chansen – 3,053,000 viewers
So we can see that Måns’ MF victory (the video above) in Stockholm was seen by over 37% of the nation. A massive amount with the amount of other channels available. But it does make you wonder what the other 63% could possibly have been watching. Similarly, a third of Sweden watched Måns’ win in Vienna on 23 May. Interestingly, Måns was in Semi-Final 4, which turned out to be the least-watched Semi-Final proper. Eurovision veteran Eric Saade won Semi-Final 1, but only managed to finish fifth in the Final.
With them defending their title this year, the interest will be immense as Sweden picks the right song to grace the stage at Ericsson Globen on 14 May.
So are Swedes mad for Eurovision or just mad? I think it’s definitely Eurovision that gets them into a frenzy. Or Donald Duck. The next viewing figures will be interesting.
Source: Statistikbyrån (Sweden) Annual Report
Author: John Stanton