Hopp til innhold

NRK's History in Brief

The first step was taken towards broadcasting in Norway in 1923 as a series of test broadcasts were made from Tryvann and Kongensgate in Oslo.

Jon Skolmen og Trond Kirkvaag åpner farge-tv

In 1972 the first colours came to NRK: Jon Skolmen og Trond Kirkvaag welcomed them in a special show in 1976.

Foto: NRK

Two years later, in 1925, the first broadcasting company was founded, and the first year of regular radio broadcasts became reality. 1925 was also the first year that the licence fee was collected. A permit was also required to own a radio.

Local offices were opened
The first legislation of Norsk Rikskringkasting (NRK) - Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation - was passed in 1933. All private broadcasting was shut down and reestablished in NRK as local offices in Tromsø, Bodø, Trondheim, Ålesund, Bergen, Stavanger, Kristiansand and Oslo as head office. These cities had hosted private broadcasters before then, but became part of NRK under the new legislation.

In 1935 the first mobile unit for producing radio programmes was developed, and radio increased its popularity.

"This is London"
By the outbreak of World War II, NRK's broadcasts reached half the population. This increase was naturally dramatically set back by the war. The words ”Dette er London!" –This is London – became legend.

These words promised contact between the occupied homeland and the free, allied world. Broadcasting from its true premises was not possible, only brief war propaganda. Cooperation between the BBC in Britain and the London-based branch of the NRK led to creation of the daily programme ”London Radio”, which was broadcasted to thousands of illegal radios around the nation.

By the end of World War II, radio had received a new status in Norwegian homes and the number of receivers quickly grew to the same level as before the war. In 1948, the Parliament decided that a Director General should oversee both programmes and administration. Kåre Fostervoll was appointed the first Director General.

After the War a Radio became a must in every home and everybody was listning to the NRK.

It was a golden time for Radio and NRK.

TV in 1960
The first tests of television broadcasts in Norway were conducted in 1954. Television broadcasting officially began in 1960, making Norway one of the last countries to launch television in Western Europe.

The reason for this was the country's geography and rural settlement, which made it a very expensive operation. NRK later opened two new regional offices and began developing television production in other cities than Oslo – even if on a smaller scale. Colour TV became part of the permanent services in 1975.

The period up to the mid-1980s was one of expansion. In particular, the number of regional and local offices increased dramatically. By 1996, the whole nation was also covered by regional TV news on a daily basis. The tests for a second radio channel began in 1980. The P2 station officially began broadcasting from Trondheim in 1984. Pop music and entertainment programmes became part of the channel and caused great debate.

From 1933 to 1981 NRK was the only Broadcasting Company in Norway. NRK had monopoly first for Radio, then for Radio and TV for all those years.

More Channels to come: In 1984 Programme Two Radio came, in 1993 the Three-channel system for Radio. And later Three-channel system for TV as well.

Three-channel system for radio and TV
In 1993, NRK launched the three-channel radio system with P1, P2, and P3. The system makes NRK radio one of the leading radio broadcasters in the world, in terms of market share.

Beside the tree main radio channels NRK today offer a wide range of special targeted radiochannels.

In 1995, the Parliament decided to establish a second NRK television channel, named NRK 2. One year later, NRK was restructured and became a free, independent company that was fully-owned by the Norwegian state. In 2007 NRK launched its third television channel, NRK 3.

Following the digitalisation of the ground-based digital network, NRK has organised its programmes on NRK1, NRK2 and NRK3/Super to provide the public with three real options when they turn on their TVs.

In 2009 the television was fully digitalised. The parlament has said that The analogue switch-off for radio shall be in 2017.



NRK1 is a comprehensive, national TV channel. It covers a wide range of genres and its aim is to reach large groups of viewers of all ages and with a wide range of interests.


NRK2’s primary focus is on current affairs, culture and knowledge. This channel is designed to provide in-depth material and experiences that fall within these three core areas.

NRK3/NRK Super

At daytime NRKs third tv-channel is a children channel under the name NRK Super, from 19.30 its NRK 3 - with viewers 12 - 29 years as main target group.

NRK Super is Norway’s largest children’s channel for the 2-12 age group, broadcasting from 0630 hrs to 1930 hrs. NRK Super reflects the everyday lives of children throughout Norway and provides diversity in content, language and various genres presented.

High priority has been placed on using nynorsk (New Norwegian) and dialects when dubbing series and in the recruitment of presenters. NRK Super has permanent Sami content and a high percentage of programmes are produced outside Oslo.


NRK P1 is Norway’s largest radio station, aiming to provide good content to a wide group of listeners over the age of 30. This station places emphasis on news, music, entertainment and everyday journalism.

P1 is also a contingency station, broadcasting news programmes at regular times and also providing extraordinary coverage as necessary.

NRK P2 provides in-depth programmes in NRK’s radio universe. It aims to challenge curious listeners and provide them with an insight into cultural and social matters. The music on P2 is primarily motivated by its journalists and genres like classical, jazz and folk music feature heavily. This channel has set itself a goal designed to strengthen its position among 30-50 year-olds and it has made changes in its broadcasting schedule. One of these changes involves a new appear

NRK P3 is a radio station for young people, focussing on new music, comedy and entertainment.

Its target group is young people in Norway between the ages of 15 and 30. P3’s main objective is to be a relevant, entertaining and important station for its target group, to provide its listeners with good music and unique periences and to present youth reality.

P3 aims to exploit its independence by making bold choices both in respect of its content and its major commitments. Furthermore, P3’s role as a cultural presenter of new Norwegian music constitutes an important part of NRK’s public broadcasting mandate.

Through its live broadcasts on P3sessions and Urørt (Untouched), NRK P3 brings several new Norwegian artists into the limelight each year.

Internet - nrk.no

The website of NRK is one of the most visited in Norway. Since 1995 NRK has had a website - today its a main platform beside radio and tv.

Nrk.no shall always present the most important events in the world, Norway and on NRK right now. All advertisements were removed from NRK’s website on 15 th of September 2010 as a result of plans to present NRK as a non-commercial public broadcaster.

NRK’s nett-tv (online TV) service is popular with the public. The number of weekly nett-tv users increased by almost 80% during the final quarter of 2010, compared to the same quarter of the previous year.

NRK provides online services such as nrksuper.no (for children), P3.no (for young people), yr.no (weather) and UT.no (outdoor activities), as well as NRKskole (school).

The adaptation of useful services such as yr.no and UT.no represent a natural development of traditional public service content and are recent innovations that provide the public with content in a more user-friendly manner through the use of new technology.

Funded by TV licence fees

Approximately 98% of NRK’s activities are funded by TV licence fees and thus have no special links to commercial services or products.

Licence funds and other public income should not subsidise commercial activities. NRK has the opportunity to develop commercial services which contribute towards funding public broadcasting services, but this occurs entirely via NRK’s wholly-owned commercial subsidiary NRK Aktivum.

In this way NRK is able to maintain a clear accounting and operational division between NRK’s commercial activities and its public broadcasting activities.

NRK operates on all platforms without any advertising. This applies to TV, radio and Internet. During the course of 2010 NRK removed its banner advertisements on its websites.

One of the reasons for this is that new media and the Internet have become defined as part of NRK’s public broadcasting mandate and these services should therefore be part of what people already have paid for via licence fees.

For a long time The Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK) has been Norway's largest media house.

NRK has around 3 500 employees situated on 56 departments throughout Norway with the main office at Marienlyst, Oslo. Total budget is five billion NOK.

Read more: A gigantic Small Broadcaster