Kringvarp Føroya (English: Broadcasting Faroe Islands) is the national broadcasting company of the Faroe Islands. It was founded on 1 January 2005 after a merging of the national Faroese radio (Útvarp Føroya) and the national Faroese Television (Sjónvarp Føroya).
|Type||Public broadcasting network (Television, Radio & Online)|
|Founded||1957 (as Útvarp Føroya)|
|Headquarters||Norðari Ringvegur 20, Postsmoga 1299, FO-100 Tórshavn|
|Owner||Government of Faroe Islands|
|Útvarp Føroya (Radio) (1957–2005)
Sjónvarp Føroya (Television) (1984–2005)
Útvarp Føroya (ÚF) was founded in 1957. The first director was Axel Tórgarð. In 1960 Niels Juel Arge became director and continued until 1990. Prior to the establishment of Útvarp Føroya the Faroese people could listen to foreign radio stations. The most common one to listen to was the National Norwegian Radio Station, popularly referred to as Norðmaðurin (which means: The Norwegian or The man from Norway). The BBC was also popular. These stations were mainly used for daily weather forecasts.
Sjónvarp Føroya (SvF) means "Television of the Faroe Islands", it was founded in 1984. It was the only public TV station in the small country of 48,000 inhabitants, speaking their own Faroese language. The history of SvF goes back to the 1960s. In 1969, the Faroese parliament (Løgting) decided to found a stock for developing TV facilities on the islands under public law. The law of 1978 arranged the realisation of the network, which was finally founded as Sjónvarp Føroya in 1981. An old furniture store in the capital Tórshavn was converted into a TV studio in 1983, and on April 1, 1984 the first Faroese programme was launched; however, private local TV associations had by then been transmitting for six years. The regular operation of SVF started on September 1 the same year.
In spring 1985, the former freelancers of Faroese TV were engaged as staff by the Faroese government. Since 1990, other buildings in the neighbourhood were bought in order to enhance the network's premises.
In December 2002, the Faroe Islands became the first country in the world to completely switch off all of its analogue television signals, which had used the PAL standard, in favour of the digital DVB-T standard.
By Faroese law, SvF has the goal of broadcasting one-third of its programmes in the Faroese language. The other programmes are mostly taken from Danmarks Radio and are Danish subtitled movies. In 2003, 27 percent of the SvF's programmes were in Faroese. Apart from children's programmes SVF's own production consists mainly of news and topical magazine items.
In 2005, the companies Sjónvarp Føroya (Television of the Faroes) and Útvarp Føroya (Radio of the Faroes) were merged into the new company, Kringvarp Føroya. Everybody who owns a television must pay license to the Kringvarpið, it is not optional. The television part of the Kringvarp Føroya shows only one channel, they co-operate with the Danish national television DR and with TV2 from Denmark and show some programming from these channels. It also produces its own programming i.e. Faroese news, which is called Dagur og Vika (Day and Week), children's TV and some cultural and sports broadcasting. For those who wish to see other channels from around the world, it is possible if they pay extra. There is only one local pay-TV provider, Televarpið, which is a digital terrestrial service. Satellite TV from foreign providers is also popular.