Family Channel can continue its television operations

Ministry of Transport and Communications
Publication date 29.12.2011 13.53
Press release

The Government does not intend to cancel Family Channel Oy's television operating licence, despite the fact that changes will take place in company ownership. The company provides nationwide television service on the SuomiTV channel.

In November 2011, Family Channel Oy applied for a preliminary ruling concerning a change in control in which a company that belongs to the American News Corporation media group would acquire control of Family Channel Oy.

The licence system for commercial radio and television operations is based on the fact that licences granted by the Government may not be transferred to another party. According to the Act on Television and Radio Operations, a change in control may be approved if the conditions for granting a licence are met and operations continue in accordance with the licence terms.

Family Channel Oy is a Finnish joint stock company founded in 1998, and it was granted a licence by the Government for the SuomiTV channel in June 2009.

Delay in Discovery HD Showcase
high definition broadcasts

The Government also granted Discovery Communications Europe Limited an extension until 31 January 2012 to launch its high definition broadcasts.

According to its licence, the company should have initiated high definition broadcasts on the Discovery HD Showcase channel in multiplex F on 1 October 2011. The reasons given by the company for the delay in starting broadcast activities included slow development of distribution markets for high definition programming and the poor spread of receiving devices that comply with the T2 standard.

The Government made the decisions to extend the Family Channel Oy licence and provide Discovery Communications Europe Limited with additional time on 29 December 2011.

Further information:

Mr Olli-Pekka Rantala, Director of Unit, tel. +358 9 1602 8585, +358 50 344 3400