The impact of the Corona crisis on TV programming this summer


The Corona crisis has a major impact on the TV programming in the summer months. The major sporting events that normally achieve huge viewing figures have been canceled. In any case, there will be no European Football Championship and no Olympic Games this summer. In addition, there is a considerable challenge for TV makers to produce new programs in the 1.5 meter society. In this article I give an update on how TV operators deal with this and which programs they come up with this summer.


The forced cancellation of the European Championship and the Olympic Games will have a significant impact on NPO. This was to be the year of the Dutch national soccer team back on top after years of struggling. The Dutch olympians would also show good performances at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, but unfortunately their worldstage has disappeared. The Tour de France, the other major sporting event of the summer, will be postponed to September as far as we know now and provided it meets the health conditions of the French government.

No European Football Championship this summer...

Sports events always ensure very high viewing figures. Now the NPO has to fill this gap with replacement programming. A major challenge nowadays also because the Corona measures cause issues with regard to production. The main pillar in NPO's programming remains News and Current Affairs in summer. These types of programs still achieve significantly higher viewing figures than normal (see also my previous article) and fulfill an important core task of the NPO.

Until the 3rd of July the talk show “M” is still programmed, in the summer this will be replaced by “Mijn Corona Huis Vol” and then by compilations of the most beautiful items from “De Wereld Draait Door”. Talk show “Op1” continues all summer from Monday to Friday under the name “Zomer op 1”. On Saturday, 7 times “Mijn Sport Zomer” is planned in that time slot (from July 11 to August 22), including 2 guests and their favorite sport moments. Presentation of “Mijn Sport Zomer” is in the hands of Dionne de Graaff (4x) and Tom Egberts (3x).

In any case, lots of new programming such as “Hello goodbye”, “Max vakantieman”, “DNA onbekend”, “Het echte leven in de dierentuin”, “The great british bake off”, “Denkend aan Holland”, “De S.P.E.L. Show ”,“ Zomergasten ”and“ Sergio en Axel van de kaart ” (cooking top chefs). Furthermore, a lot is expected of a new season of the popular quiz “De slimste mens”, which can be seen daily on NPO2 this summer for 7 weeks. A daily drama series “Dertigers” starts at NPO3 in May (at 8 pm). Later in the summer the second season “Papadag” starts.

All this is complemented by a mix of new programs, compilations of successful programs and replays of frequently watched programs.

Source: Papadag,

RTL / Ad Alliance

RTL / Ad Alliance is constantly inventorying which programs can go ahead and which cannot. In doing so, they will examine the possibilities of doing this in an adapted form, with due observance of the RIVM guidelines.

RTL 4 will feature the usual daily live programs such as “BEAU”, “Koffietijd”, “5 Uur Live”, “RTL Boulevard” and “Editie NL” in the coming period. A number of programs will be repeated, but there are also still new episodes of “Het zijn net mensen”, the highly viewed “Lego Masters”, “Beter laat dan nooit”, “The Best of Got Talent Worldwide” and “ Brilliant!".

Production of programs will start again (in adapted form). RTL will soon resume the recording of “Goede tijden, slechte tijden” (GTST, popular dutch soapserie) and quiz “Ik weet er alles van”, but also the finale of “The Voice Kids” (singing contest) can continue in an adapted form. RTL hopes to start with more recordings in the coming period.

Source: TVOH,

In September there are at least many new titles planned (almost all of which are already fully included) such as “Chantal komt werken”, “Borsato's Budget Wedding” and “De Erfgenaam”, but also new episodes of the daily soap series GTST .

The digital platform “Videoland” focuses on a strong offer of popular programs to compete with “Netflix” and the many other on-demand streaming services.


Despite the difficult circumstances, Talpa Network also tries to focus on high viewing figures and continues as much as possible with new programs on their main channels SBS 6, Net 5, Veronica and SBS 9 in addition to familiar programs.

SBS 6 has recently started with new programs such as “Hoge bomen” and “Man bijt hond XL”. In the near future the triptych documentary "Kinderen in de oorlog" and the "BBC Wildlife documentaries by Richard Attenborough: Africa and Life Story" will be added to the offer.

There is also a mix of popular titles on the schedule, such as new episodes of “Chateau Meiland” and regular pillars “Hart van Nederland”, “Shownieuws” and Lingo (reruns). There are also programs that respond to current events, such as “Hart in Aktie” and “Herman helpt een handje”. In August, "Lang leve de liefde" is broadcast daily prime time for one hour. More new summer programs may be announced in the near future, as well as more information about the singing competition “We Want More”.

The new programs in the broadcast schedule are supplemented with reruns of previously broadcast episodes of the most watched Talpa titles such as "Steenrijk Straatarm", "Paleis voor een prikkie", "Mr. Frank Visser doet uitspraak"," Ik hou van Holland" and "Lingo”.

Source: Chateau Meiland,

NET5 has recently aired 5 new episodes of “Grey's Anatomy” and “New Amsterdam”. From May 12, "New Amsterdam" will be followed by the new "Nurses" series, and from June 2, "Grey's Anatomy" will be followed by the newest season of "Station 19". Since the beginning of May, a new series has also started of the weekday cooking program “Wat Eten We?” which is now presented by Jet van Nieuwkerk. The weekend will continue to focus on crime, with the newest seasons “NCIS”, “NCIS Los Angeles”, “NCIS New Orleans”, “Dr Bull” and “Hawaii Five-0” planned. Furthermore, a brand new eve has started at the end of March, with new seasons of “Het Blok Australia” and “MasterChef USA”. This continues until the end of June. In August, new series will be announced shortly and new seasons of “My Kitchen Rules” and “MasterChef Australia” will follow.

Veronica will broadcasts various film premieres and blockbusters in the summer. Regarding series, new episodes of “Magnum P.I.” will be aired all summer. (season 2, reboot of the 1980s series of the same name). Furthermore, a new season of “Border Security” will run until mid-June. In addition to series and films, Veronica normally also broadcasts a lot of sports. Unfortunately, the status is still unclear due to the Corona crisis. Although there is currently no dutch football, football talkshow “VI” can still be seen.

SBS 9 remains the channel with a good range of films and series from home and abroad, including the upcoming period.

It is striking that despite the fact that there is currently less demand for TV airtime from advertisers, TV broadcasters are still working hard on qualitative programming in the summer months. NPO tries to maintain momentum of the good viewing figures from April and May in the summer. The disappearance of the sports summer will certainly have an impact on the viewing time of the NPO.

RTL and Talpa know that they cannot relax in order not to make the competition stronger and continue to come with relatively many new programs in addition to the usual repetitions in the summer period.

In the past, consumers as well as advertisers have criticized the lack of current programming in the summer months. The talk of the day in particular came to a halt due to the summer break of the talk shows. This will be different this summer. Informing and discussing current events will play a major role, including in the summer months.

The viewing time is expected to be higher than the summer of 2019 because fewer Dutch people will go on holiday and more will be tied to their homes. TV remains the strongest means to achieve mass reach for advertising campaigns.

By Maurice Neeskens

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