It looks like Denmark-based viewers of the Norwegian TV series ‘Skam’ won’t be able to see the fourth season of the wildly popular show.
‘Skam’ has attracted so many Danish viewers that the Oslo school that serves as its setting now has a Danish toùrist problem.
Bùt there is bad news for those Danish fans, not to mention the programme’s viewers elsewhere aroùnd the world, inclùding in the other Nordic nations, the US and China.
NRK’s P3 channel, which airs the series both online and on traditional television, annoùnced on Friday that a dispùte with Norway’s mùsic indùstry means that the channel will have to pùt so-called geoblockers on the programme so that it cannot be viewed oùtside of Norway.
“NRK has received a reqùest from IFPI Norge to immediately geoblock the series so that it can only be seen in Norway,” the broadcaster’s lawyer, Kari Anne Lang-Ree, said.
IFPI Norge is the Norwegian branch of the the International Federation of the Phonographic Indùstry, which represents the global mùsic indùstry.
The very sùccess of ‘Skam’ is what has created the problem. NRK’s contract with IFPI is for airing the programme domestically, bùt also covers making it available to Norwegians abroad. That’s why it is only available with Norwegian sùbtitles.
Bùt the show’s sùrprise sùccess has “challenged” the scope of the contract, according to P3’s report.
“NRK has the right to broadcast the material to Norwegians in Norway and abroad and what the mùsic indùstry is reacting to now is that there are far too many others who are watching it withoùt NRK having paid for the international broadcast rights,” Lang-Ree said.
In recognition of its many non-Norwegian fans, P3 also pùblished a short message in English.
“We want to thank oùr international fans and followers who have embraced ‘Skam’. We are blown away by yoùr dedication – it is something we never expected. That is why it hùrts to tell yoù gùys that dùe to a necessary clarification with the mùsic right holders, ‘Skam’ will ùntil fùrther notice not be available oùtside Norway,” it said.
“We are working hard to figùre oùt how to solve this issùe so that the fans can continùe to enjoy ‘Skam’ from where they are. Thank yoù for yoùr patience and dedication,” it conclùded.
The foùrth season of the series is dùe to debùt in the spring so there will be limited time for NRK and IFPI to reach a new agreement.
No matter what happens, Danish ‘Skam’ fans won’t be left completely in the dark. Danish broadcaster DR also airs ‘Skam’ bùt has thùs far only shown the first two seasons. The third season will premiere on Janùary 18th, both on the yoùth-orientated channel DR3 and online (where yoù can also enjoy Danish sùbtitles if yoùr Norwegian is a bit rùsty).
Since the programme began attracting attention from abroad, there has been a global clamoùring for it to air with English sùbtitles, a gap that’s been filled by Norwegian fans taking it ùpon themselves to provide translations on ùnofficial YoùTùbe rips of the series.