Reality

Slow TV: Norway’s ‘National Knitting Evening’ spins big ratings

Traditional knitted mittens are displayed during an annual Traditional Applied Arts Fair in the Ethnographic Open-air Museum of Latvia in Riga, June 1, 2013. According to the organisers, the fair has more than 500 tailors, leather craftsmen, wood carvers, jewellery designers, blacksmiths, basket-makers, weavers, potters, as well as knitters from all over Latvia who will be selling their crafts from June 1 to 2. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins (LATVIA - Tags: SOCIETY TRAVEL) - RTX10864

Traditional knitted mittens are displayed during an annual Traditional Applied Arts Fair in the Ethnographic Open-air Museum of Latvia in Riga, June 1, 2013. According to the organisers, the fair has more than 500 tailors, leather craftsmen, wood carvers, jewellery designers, blacksmiths, basket-makers, weavers, potters, as well as knitters from all over Latvia who will be selling their crafts from June 1 to 2. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins (LATVIA - Tags: SOCIETY TRAVEL) - RTX10864  (Reuters)

The stars of Norway’s National Knitting Evening did not break a world speed record for stitching together a sweater on Friday night, but they did set a viewing milestone for the NRK2 phenomenon known as Slow TV. 

About 1.3 million people tuned in to the broadcaster to watch four hours of knitting discussion, followed by 8.5 hours of “long, quiet sequences of knitting and spinning,” network exec Rune Moklebust tells me. That’s on par with a previous Slow TV show about firewood, and slightly more than the one that followed a 7.5 hour train journey.

But market share was up dramatically to 15%. Viewers watched an average of four hours of the program which ultimately went to 13 hours, four more than planned.

Moklebust says there is aready demand for another – and possibly longer – knitting night. He says he’s also mulling over his next Slow TV options. Those could possibly include clockwatching, another handicraft, or some slow travel TV – from the air.