Disco Polo Triumphs In New Year’s Eve Ratings Battle

Much to the delight of public tv chief Jacek Kurski, formerly of PiS, TVP2's Disco Polo laden concert comfortably brought in more viewers than rival events broadcast by Polsat and TVN.

TVP2's concert, which is now held in Zakopane instead of Wrocław, featured an array of Disco Polo stars, with Bayer Full and Zenek Maryniuk the main draw. There were also performances from Polish pop stars such as Margaret and Maryla Rodowicz, as well as foreign acts including Thomas Anders and Luis Fonsi.

The second most viewed concert, organised in Katowice by Polsat, also featured Disco Polo singers in the shape of Boys, Weekend, MIG, Long&Junior, Łobuzy and Piękni i młodzi. There was room for the Vengaboys too, who put on a ridiculous performance of their 90's hit 'Pump It Up'. 

Despite being held in the capital, TVN's concert failed to match the same levels of viewership as rival channels TVP2 and Polsat. Their event, which featured the likes of Bajm, Kayah, Agnieszka Chylińska, Bracia, Ira, Blue Cafe, Kombii, Pectus, Grzegorz Hyży, Perfect and Kasia Kowalska, came third in the ratings battle.

According to data from Neilsen Poland, TVP2 enjoyed an 18.1% market share on New Year's Eve, followed by Polsat (9.3%) and TVN (7.9%). The average amount of viewers following TVP2's concert was approximately 4.7 million

Data from TVP's information centre predictably shows higher ratings. The figures show the amount of viewers peaked during Zenek Martyniuk's performance of Disco Polo hit 'Green Eyes', which drew in almost 8 million people (the Neilsen data has the number of viewers at 6.3 million).

Disco Polo, something of a phenomenon in Poland, is similar in character to Europe's cheesy 90's dance hits (hence why hits by Vengaboys and Modern Talking are popular with Disco Polo fans). Last year's Disco Polo event at Stadion Wrocław was attended by almost 40,000 people.

Disco Polo's popularity appeared to be on the wane around a decade ago, however nowadays the music genre is as popular as it ever has been. The music is an ever-present at many Polish weddings and parties, while there are Disco Polo clubs, radio stations and tv channels that operate throughout the country. 

The trashiness of Diso Polo's simple lyrics and the formulaic pop sound is loathed by a modest percentage of Poland's population. That said, as you can see from the viewing figures above, the vast majority of the country love it – so much so that it has now become an established part of Polish culture.

Meanwhile, in other Disco Polo related news, Polish politician Adam Andruszkiewicz has spoken out angrily against the negativity regarding the New Year's Eve concerts. The Polish MP for Kukiz 15, who is also a member of extreme right-wing group All Polish Youth, said on Twitter that he would recommend those critical of New Year's Eve Disco Polo concerts "go to the security zone in Berlin".

Gregor Gowans

The founder and editor of Wroclaw Uncut, Gregor has been running the website since its inception in 2012. A Wroclawian for almost 10 years, Gregor writes on a wide variety of topics including, food & drink, nightlife, local news and politics. He is also a regular guest on Radio Ram's Sunday lunch programme.

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