New high-definition channels and increased programme supply in antenna network

Ministry of Transport and Communications
Publication date 31.3.2011 13.14
Press release

YLE (the Finnish broadcasting company), MTV3 and Nelonen will start national high-definition broadcasts in the antenna network.

On 31 March, the Finnish Government granted television programme licences in three new multiplexes. The Government wants to promote the launch and more widespread use of high-definition broadcasts in the antenna network and to complement the current programme supply.

Multiplex F is national. The coverage area of VHF C reaches two-thirds of Finland, extending to Northern Finland. Multiplex G covers the Helsinki metropolitan area.

In conjunction with these television programme licences, a network licence in multiplex VHF C was granted to DNA Ltd. Anvia Oy holds a network licence in multiplex F in accordance with an earlier decision.

'Decisions taken by this Government have significantly increased the capacity of television networks. Before the digital switch-over, we only had four national television channels. Now, we have a total of nine high-definition channels along with 44 normal channels. We have as many as ten television multiplexes with a national or otherwise considerable population coverage. In addition, multiplex G still has available capacity even after all applicants were granted an operating licence,' says Ms Suvi Lindén, the Finnish Minister of Communications.

With its licensing policy, the Government has striven to open up competition in television networks. As opposed to the past when there was just one operator in the television market, the number of network operators currently totals three. Of these, Digita has five multiplexes while DNA has three and Anvia two.

High-definition broadcasts in multiplex VHF C:

MTV Corporation (Canal+Series HD)
Sanoma Entertainment Finland Ltd (4 Pro 2 HD)

Normal broadcasts in multiplex VHF C:

NGC Europe Limited (National Geographic)
Sanoma Entertainment Finland Ltd (licences to three channels: Nelonen Kino, Nelonen Maailma ja Nelonen Perhe)
URHOtv Oy (URHOtv)
Eurosport S.A. (Eurosport)
Nonstop Television AB (Showtime)
Networks Ab (Nickelodeon)
Discovery Networks Nordic (Discovery)

High-definition broadcasts in national multiplex F:

Discovery Communications Europe Limited (Discovery HD Showcase)
Eurosport S.A. (Eurosport HD)
MTV Corporation (MTV3 HD)
Sanoma Television Oy (Nelonen HD)
In addition, Yleisradio Oy (the Finnish broadcasting company) has been reserved capacity for high-definition broadcasts in one channel.

Normal broadcasts in national multiplex F:

BBC World News Limited (BBC World)
Nonstop Television Ab (Silver SD)

Normal broadcasts in multiplex G (Helsinki metropolitan area):

Discovery Networks Nordic (licences to two channels: Discovery Channel and Animal Planet)
France24 (France24 news channel)
SBS Finland Oy (Radio City TV)

In addition, the Government granted a licence to Seinäjoki TV Oy in the regional multiplex in Seinäjoki.

All of the above operating licences are valid from 1 April 2011 until 31 December 2016.

Sanoma Entertainment Finland Ltd's programme licence amended

The Government decided to amend the programme licence (KinoTV) granted to Sanoma Entertainment Finland Ltd. This change allows the programme set to be divided into two sets with separate names.

The Government rejected SubTv Oy's application to amend its operating licence. SubTV had submitted an application requesting that its operating licence be amended to include an obligation to broadcast news and current affairs programmes.

Further information:
Ms Asta Virtaniemi, Director of the Media and Communications Services Unit, tel. +358 9 160 28626, +358 40 519 6762
Mr Ismo Kosonen, Senior Adviser, tel. +358 9 160 28462, +358 50 511 6601