Every year it hits: a fuss about the nominations for the Gouden Televizier-Ring. This year, the criticism of the nominated programs seems to be The Beavers, The Hunting Season and Until here even more stubborn. But Televizier sees no reason to do anything about the voting procedure.By Michiel Vos
“With two downright laughable nominations, it is impossible to maintain that this is still the prize of ‘the TV viewer’,” wrote TV columnist Angela de Jong in the newspaper. AD, after it became known that The Beavers and, The Hunting Season have a chance to win the prize for most popular program on Dutch television this year.
According to De Jong, the “ever so prestigious audience award”, which has been awarded by the public since 1964, is “bankrupt”. She joins a long list of critics of the voting procedure, including Carlo Boszhard, Jan Slagter, various other broadcasters and television scientists.
The columnist believes that the two programs simply do not attract enough viewers to be seen as serious candidates for the audience award. The docusoap by folk singer John de Bever attracted an average of between 300,000 and 400,000 viewers to RTL 5. To the YouTube success brought to television by Talpa Hunting season of StukTV, an average of 600,000 to 700,000 people watched. Until here van Niels van der Laan and Jeroen Woe reached more than two million viewers more than once. The criticism is therefore not aimed at that program.
The Beavers and The Hunting Season are therefore certainly not among the most watched programs. But thanks to the strong social media support of StukTV and the lobby of De Bever, which also received support from Johan Derksen, they managed to make it to the contenders of the Ring.
De Jong argues that the voting procedure should be overhauled and is not the first. Broadcasting MAX boss Jan Slagter previously called the Televizier-Ring an ‘Instagram prize’. He finds it unfair for program makers and presenters who do not have a large number of online followers to encourage voting.
Nomination rounds create online voting lobbies
So how exactly does the voting work? Voting for the Gouden Televizier-Ring takes place throughout the year in four rounds. Each quarter, the five programs with the most votes are forwarded to the next round. After that, Televizier adds five more wildcards to its own taste, after which 25 programs compete for the three nomination spots.
In recent years, program makers, presenters and broadcasters have become increasingly active on social media in recruiting votes. According to critics such as De Jong and Slagter, the system therefore needs to be replaced. De Jong argues for a lower limit of one million viewers for nominees or a TV panel that makes a pre-selection. Slagter is in favor of national research with telephone questionnaires.
‘In the end it’s up to the voter’
All not necessary, thinks Jeroen de Goeij of organizer Televizier. He remains sober under the fierce criticism of the price. “We have often had commotion about programs that would not have been good enough to win or be nominated,” says De Goeij in conversation with NU.nl. By this he means, among other things, the profit of VI and Jan Smit’s reality soap. “In the end, it’s up to the voter.”
De Goeij emphasizes that the Gouden Televizier-Ring is not a professional prize for the best program on Dutch television. “We are looking for the favorite program through the votes.”
But does the prize in its current form say anything about popularity if candidates have a large online following? De Goeij also puts that criticism aside. “The price is not about viewing figures, but above all the connection that the voter feels with a certain program. Part of making TV is that you know how to bind people to you. With only seeking publicity and advertising, you do not win the ring .”
And Slagter’s point that it is more difficult for Omroep MAX to mobilize voters with older supporters who are less active online? According to De Goeij, that is also not the case. “Programs like All of Holland Bakt are viewed by all generations. It’s too short-sighted to throw it at age. André van Duin, who presents MAX for Omroep, is nominated and won last year.”
De Goeij says that Televizier is always in discussion about the development of the award ceremony, but that this year’s nominees are no reason to change things up for next year. According to him, the election is getting bigger: the number of votes that come in is still increasing every year. And to those left disappointed without a nomination this year, he says, “Another round next year.”
The Gouden Televizier-Ring will be awarded on Thursday 6 October. Voting for the three nominated programs can be done by telephone during the gala.